Wednesday, July 11, 2012

After earthquakes, Ohio governor orders new regulations on deep injection wells

Ohio Gov. John Kasich issued an executive order that immediately imposes new state regulations on deep injection wells used to dispose of chemically laced wastewater from oil and gas drilling. The Associated Press reports that the directive gives the Ohio Department of Natural Resources temporary authority to implement a list of rules announced after a series of Youngstown-area earthquakes was tied to one such well. The official order says the regulations will provide citizen protection possible without causing irreparable harm to an important industry.

Under the order, the chief of the state Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management will have authority to order preliminary tests at proposed well sites, prevent drilling where tests fail, and limit injection pressure. The state also can order installation of automatic shutoff valves and monitor for leakage. The order will not affect a moratorium Kasich placed on deep injection wells surrounding the epicenter of the quakes. The order is effective for 90 days.

No comments: