Commissioners Impressed By Injection Well Tour

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An Athens County commissioner says he was surprised by what he saw when he toured two Troy Twp. injection wells operated by K&H Partners.

"From all the complaints and issues I've heard, it wasn't what I expected to see," Commissioner Lenny Eliason said. "It looks like a very clean operation."

Eliason toured the wells last week at the invitation of the owners.

​"They seem to be a concerned organization, to run things in a proper manner," Eliason said.

Eliason said he was told the company went beyond the requirements of the law in terms of containment. There is a concrete pad with drains, surrounded by a concrete wall, to capture a spill if one occurs at the storage tanks. Eliason said he was told that setup exceeds legal requirements.

Eliason said he did not detect any odors at the sites.

"From my layman's view, it seems to be operating well," Eliason said.

Although Eliason came away from the tour with a positive view of how K&H Partners operates the two injection wells, he said there is still a question of whether the Ohio Department of Natural Resources adequately regulates injection wells.

"I'm leaning toward Ohio's (level of regulation) being too little," Eliason said.

Earlier this month, the county commissioners were asked by the Athens County Fracking Action Network to lend support to a complaint ACFAN and Appalachia Resist filed with the U.S. EPA regarding the two K&H injection wells near Torch.

The complaint raises concerns about the cement casing of the most recently drilled injection well and about a brine spill that occurred during drilling of the well. The complaint also reiterates concerns raised earlier about the first K&H injection well near Torch. It asks that enforcement action be taken against K&H by the U.S. EPA and asks for federal intervention into Ohio's injection well program.

Asked if he would vote in favor of the commissioners lending support to the complaint, Eliason said he hasn't made up his mind. He said he wants to read the complaint in more detail, and give the matter additional thought.

Injection wells are used to dispose of waste from oil and gas wells.