Ohio is among 19 states with an oil or gas well recently drilled on public lands that was identified by the federal government as having a higher risk of pollution.
Ohio has one higher risk gas well in Bazetta Township in Trumbull County. It was inspected as required by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. That’s according to data obtained by The Associated Press of drilling inspections for the fiscal years 2009 to 2012.
Trumbull County is home to the Shenango Wildlife Area.
In all, the data show that four in 10 new oil and gas wells near national forests and fragile watersheds or otherwise with higher pollution risks escape federal inspection.
The Ohio well has been in production since 2010, and the owner is M&M Royalty Ltd.
Roughly half or more of wells on federal and Indian lands weren’t checked in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, despite potential harm that has led to efforts in some communities to ban new drilling.
Government data obtained by the AP point to the Bureau of Land Management as so overwhelmed by a boom in the new drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that it has been unable to keep up with inspections of some of the highest-priority wells. That’s an agency designation based on a greater need to protect against possible water contamination and other environmental and safety issues.
Factors also include whether the well is near a high-pressure formation or whether the drill operator lacks a clear track record of service.