Company applies to plug well linked to quakes

Staff report


North Star Disposal Services LLC has applied to plug and abandon the injection well linked to area earthquakes.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 2011 closed Northstar 1, located on Ohio Works Drive on the West Side, after several earthquakes occurred in the area, including one that measured at a magnitude of 4.0.

The application to plug the well was submitted to ODNR earlier this month.

Now, ODNR geologists will review the permit and then a plugging plan will be submitted to the county inspector, said Steve Irwin, ODNR spokesman.

“Once the permit is issued, the company typically has two years to plug the well,” Irwin said in a statement. “The county inspector witnesses the plugging to ensure that all work is done in accordance with Ohio’s regulations.”

In 2012, ODNR released a report that strongly suggested the well played a part in earthquakes that hit in 2011 after it was learned operators drilled too deeply into a layer of basement rock known as Precambrian, about 9,000 feet below the earth’s surface.

The Northstar 1 well was operated by Ben W. Lupo, who was sentenced in 2014 to 28 months in federal prison for ordering his employees of another company to illegally discharge oil-field waste down a storm drain and into a Mahoning River tributary in Youngstown.

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