By Ed Runyan
The Trumbull County commissioners have approved the county’s first Road Use and Maintenance Agreement with a brine-injection company.
On Wednesday, commissioners approved a RUMA with Heckman Water Resources of Coraopolis, Pa., for the injection well the company operates on Warner Road in Fowler Township just north of state Route 305.
Jack Simon, county RUMA coordinator, said a RUMA with Heckman was necessary because Heckman has increased the use of the well since it acquired the well several years ago, and that has led to more truck traffic and more wear and tear on Warner Road.
The RUMA specifies the improvements that the company will make to the road to “beef it up” and make it better able to withstand the truck traffic, Simon said.
The company will make partial-depth repairs to about 1,200 feet of Warner Road to repair holes and also put a top coat of asphalt over that.
The agreement also is similar to ones the county approved with companies such as BP America and Halcon for road bonds and liability insurance that the companies agreed to have to cover any damage their activities would cause to the roads and bridges.
Those RUMA agreements were for horizontal gas- and oil-drilling operations.
Simon said that brine-injection wells are likely to remain in operation in Trumbull County, even if shale drilling does not continue at a high rate.
Drilling companies operating in Pennsylvania use county injection wells to dispose of brine from gas-drilling operations because Pennsylvania does not have many injection wells. Pennsylvania doesn’t have geology conducive to injection, Simon said.
Trumbull is an attractive location for injection wells because it is just over the Pennsylvania line, he added.
In other business, the commissioners awarded a $499,919 contract to Kirila Contractors of Brookfield to carry out an improvement at the intersection of Elm Road and North River Road in Howland Township.
Among the upgrades to be done are intersection widening, improved drainage, repaving and new traffic signals and curbs.
Most of the money comes from federal grants. Construction is expected in the coming months, Simon said.