Frackfree to tell state to shut down some Valley injection wells

By Kalea Hall


Frackfree Mahoning Valley will ask the governor and the chief of the Ohio Department Natural Resources to stop the use of three injection- well sites in the Valley.

The anti-fracking group believes the injection wells pose a hazard because they are too close to areas where seismic activity has occurred. The wells are in Vienna, Weathersfield and Coitsville.

“The No. 1 concern is the seismicity,” said Ray Beiersdorfer, professor in the department of geological and environmental sciences at Youngstown State University.

One of the wells Frackfree discussed at a Friday news conference outside of Youngstown City Hall is two minutes south of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna Township. The well, at 1143 Youngstown-Kingsville Road, is operated by KTCA Holdings of Oklahoma. KTCA recently requested the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to allow the company to inject brine and other fracking waste into the well.

“It’s right next to the airport and right next to people’s homes,” Beiersdorfer said. “There’s concerns with that.”

The Western Reserve Port Authority, which oversees the airport, will discuss the injection well by the airport at its Aviation Committee meeting Tuesday.

The Mahoning Valley is no stranger to the earthquakes with a connection to injection wells.

In fall 2014, ODNR ordered the shutdown of two brine-injection wells on state Route 169 in Weathersfield Township after a 2.1-magnitude earthquake. On New Year’s Eve 2011, a 4.0-magnitude earthquake hit Youngstown. The earthquake was later connected to brine injection at the D&L Energy well on Ohio Works Drive.

“These induced earthquakes build up where we have small earthquakes prior to the big ones,” Beiersdorfer said. “We have this trend. Are we going to [have] another experiment and have to wait until we have damage from that?”

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