Hubbard trustees, residents raise concerns over proposed injection well
By Samantha Phillips
Concerned residents of Hubbard and surrounding communities packed the Hubbard Township building Wednesday night to discuss their opposition to a proposed injection well with township trustees.
The special meeting was called after trustees learned that Bobcat Energy Resources of Canfield filed a permit for a 3.94-acre injection well site south of Hubbard Masury Road, just several yards from Interstate 80 and some businesses.
“It is absolutely a social and environmental injustice, what they are proposing to do here,” said Trustee Rick Hernandez. “We have become a dumping ground for other states.”
The well would take wastewater from Pennsylvania.
The main concerns the trustees and residents raised were earthquakes and the danger to the community’s health, especially if the wastewater leaks from the pipes and contaminates the soil, aquifer or residents’ wells.
Together, they hope to convince the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to reject the permit. The trustees will file an objection and asked residents to sign a petition at the meeting.
“It’s an environmental disaster waiting to happen,” Trustee Thomas Jacobs said. “It’s going to take the whole community to stop it.”
Trustee Fred Hanley said in 2011, the trustees filed 14 objections to the brine well that was proposed in the same area by D&L.
State Rep. Glenn Holmes told the crowd the current permit is incomplete, so the company will probably have to resubmit one since surrounding businesses and the trustees weren’t immediately notified.
This gives people time to contact ODNR about their objections.
“It’s critically important that everybody communicates with Columbus,” he said, because the state has to consider every public comment.
Holmes noted that he and state Rep. Mike O’Brien introduced House Bill 578, which would take part of the money that ODNR collects from injection well fees and gives it back to the communities.
Some residents said they would just like to see the wells banned altogether.
Trustees implored the audience to contact ODNR and state legislators.
“We’re going to fight this right to the end,” Jacobs said.
Frackfree America founder Jane Spies said, “If we all stick together, we have a much better chance of fighting this. We have to stop this well.”
If the permit is approved by the ODNR, there will be a 15-day period for public comment.
Bobcat Energy Resources was not available to comment Wednesday.