Brookfield trustee: Only way to fight placement of injection wells is to change state law
By Ed Runyan
Ronald Haun, Brookfield Township trustee, said the disregard the state shows toward local communities regarding placement of injection wells has convinced him all the more that the only way to fight them is to change state law.
Haun said the trustees and community hoped that two injection wells proposed for next to the Wyngate Manor manufactured-home community off state Route 7 would not get approval to drill, but they have anyway.
Haun said this is the same thing that happened when an injection well was proposed for another location off Route 7 several years ago. That well received a permit but never opened.
Haun said the trustees expressed concerns about injection-well truck traffic causing congestion on Route 7, especially at the Warren-Sharon Road intersection, but it got them nowhere.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources conducted a study of turning lanes for that intersection but said it would be too expensive.
“A lot of people voiced our opposition. The ODNR doesn’t think those are important,” Haun said.
Steve Irwin, ODNR spokesman, said ODNR consulted with the regional ODOT office regarding the Highland project, and ODOT “expressed no concern of the proposed increase traffic volume.”
Irwin said state law “requires the [ODNR] to issue a permit for an application that is in compliance with the rules and laws concerning injection wells.”
He said Highland will need to meet 18 construction conditions before it will be allowed to ask to start commercial injection.
“These conditions include well construction specifications, downhole testing, inspector notification of construction activities, requirement of maximum allowable pressure and required seismic monitoring,” Irwin said.
Rob Boulware, spokesman for Highland, did not return an email asking about how soon construction will begin.
Injection wells are used as means of disposal of wastewater from the gas and oil industry.
William Sawtelle of Merwin Chase Road, who will be able to see the Highland facilities out of his back door, said the 18 conditions in the permit may be protection for the community, but they can’t protect against human error and won’t protect property values from dropping.
He said workers “become too relaxed,” and accidents occur.