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Weathersfield injection well owner says shut-down could hurt Valley industry

Published: Thu, September 4, 2014 @ 12:10 a.m.



By Ed Runyan



The owner of two brine-injection wells on state Route 169 hopes government officials won’t take steps to shut his business down in the aftermath of Sunday’s magnitude-2.1 earthquake.

“Certainly this is a business, but it’s a vital business,” said Ron Klingle, CEO of Howland-based Avalon Holdings, which owns the two wells under the name American Water Management Services.

If injection wells are not available to accept the wastewater from gas and oil drilling, it is likely to eliminate drilling activity here, he said.

“It could significantly harm our community,” he said.

Klingle also is chairman of the Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and conducts economic-development activities.

A spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday the agency is continuing to evaluate data from nine seismometers “to determine if any correlation can be made and whether or not any regulatory action is necessary.” The evaluation continued Wednesday, spokesman Mark Bruce said.

Two Weathersfield Township trustees wrote letters to ODNR and USGS Wednesday asking that they increase seismic monitoring in the township because of the quake.

The organization Frackfree Mahoning Valley on Wednesday issued a news release asking that brine injection at the Weathersfield wells be shut down because of the possibility that more earthquakes could follow.

Seismic activity in 2011 did close the Northstar 1 brine injection well on Ohio Works Drive in Youngstown.

A study by researchers at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University indicated that the well caused 109 tremors between January 2011 and February 2012.

About 11 quakes that were reported to the public in 2011 were between magnitudes 2.2 and 2.6 on the Richter scale, but the well also was blamed for a 4.0 earthquake many felt on New Year’s Eve 2011. That quake shut down the well.

A few days later, the damage was described as “a few cracks in plaster, some nicked knick-knacks and a damaged chimney in McDonald,” according to Vindicator files.

Klingle, though, said he hopes people remember quakes of that type generally go unnoticed.

“There have been hundreds and thousands of similar situations across the United States, and none has produced anything significant,” he said. “A lot of this activity has gone on forever.”

Klingle said he has heard of possibly only one person who noticed Sunday’s quake, even though many seismometers recorded it.

The U.S. Geological Survey, a federal agency, is one of the agencies that recorded the event.

At first, the USGS identified the epicenter at about 1 mile northwest of the American Water Management wells. But it later changed that location, saying it occurred at the injection well facility, north of the North Road intersection.

Klingle said the USGS informed his company that the quake occurred “by our well head.”

Julie Dutton, geophysicist with the USGS in Golden, Colo., said the location was revised after additional data from other monitoring locations was analyzed. The intensity also was revised from magnitude 1.8 to 2.1 after further study, she said.

Seismic activity as high as 3 or 4 on the Richter scale has occurred in Northwest Pennsylvania in recent years and “were considered non-events,” Klingle said.

People are aware of earthquakes in the range of a 2.1 because of all of the seismometers that have been placed in this area in recent years, Klingle said.

The four seismometers his company installed near his injection wells picked up on Sunday’s earthquake and have picked up on incidents as minor as a truck hitting a pothole, he said.

He doesn’t know whether those seismometers have picked up on earthquakes in the 1.0 to 2.0 range since the two wells began commercial operation in March, he said.


1robotboy(14 comments)posted 1 year ago

Absolutely nothing should be done until and if a direct correlation and causation is established. Seems pretty simple to me.

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2glbtactivist(290 comments)posted 1 year ago

This man should be arrested for attempted extortion. The earthquake clearly was caused by his company. It should be fined out of existence for cracking the rock layers which protect our watershed from contamination by layers full of oil.

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3redvert(2173 comments)posted 1 year ago

Has it ever dawned on any of you that what is happening may not be as catastrophic as you would hope for. Most if not all of the earth's plates are under some kind of stress from the pressure of rubbing against one another. Could it be that these minor tremors are nothing more than a settling effect. I know that this doesn't fit your wants and desires but it is a reasonable explanation.

I understand also that this does not agree with some of the book smart local "experts" but that is to be expected.

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4Miki(99 comments)posted 1 year ago

Ben Lupo need a roommate?

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5Attis(1012 comments)posted 1 year ago

If a gang of thugs in the streets endangered the health, property, safety and life of a community think maybe law enforcement would shut them down? What if it was a gang in the suites, like AMWS? What's the penalty for causing earthquakes and then attempting to cover it up?

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6CongressWatcher(216 comments)posted 1 year ago

This is the new head of the Western Reserve Port Authority. I see no conflicts of interest here between personal profit and the safety of the public. Get over it. We now are required to wonder if a larger earthquake will strike our homes and possibly injure our loved ones so he can make a profit, and our tax dollars will fund this man's efforts via the port authority.

Just get over it or move you silly carbon units in the way of PROGRESS.

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7CongressWatcher(216 comments)posted 1 year ago

In Guy, Arkansas they had over 700+ earthquakes in seven months, before they finally acknowledged the issue and shut the wells down. Most likely, the formation was full anyway and would have needed to be shut down anyway. So, in other words, once they can't pump any more pressure into the ground they will stop. Until then, get over, vote everyone out of office, or move. These are your choices.

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8robotboy(14 comments)posted 1 year ago

I'm so glad that most of you put the bong down long enough to share your thoughts.

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9redeye1(5175 comments)posted 1 year ago

One has to wonder just how far away does Mr. Kringle lives from these two wells. Maybe they should drill two wells a lot closer to his home . Then let's see how he feels after the first tremor hits his family's home. My guess is he would want them closed down

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10oh13voter(1205 comments)posted 12 months ago


The first sad issue here is that the comments on this thread are being made sober.
The second sad issue is these people are so ill- informed and they vote.

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11oh13voter(1205 comments)posted 12 months ago

There was no illegal activity here, no crime committed.
There was no cover-up.
The rock layers that protect our water source were affected (cracked).
There was no danger to health.
Fearmongering is disgusting and you all should be ashamed for spreading unfounded rumors.

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12thirtyninedollars(526 comments)posted 12 months ago

Here is a man who is worried about his profits first and foremost. Not the area he calls home or the people he calls family and friends.It's a shame all you hear from him is money this. money that. He knows full well his wells will be shut down when the study is completed.
Now he's trying to delay that from happening for as long as possible. By any means necessary.

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13oh13voter(1205 comments)posted 12 months ago

We are all interested in money, we are all interested in profit. Why else go to work, we profit off of our labor.
He isn't delaying anything, it's called due process.
Which one of us would passively allow the government to claim we did something wrong and take our property ? This man is doing no more than any of us would to protect our property.

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