Drilling Permit For K&H Injection Well Remains Valid

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The Ohio Oil and Gas Commission has denied a request to reconsider its decision to dismiss the appeal of a state permit that was issued in connection with an injection well near Torch.

The Athens County Fracking Action Network had filed a motion asking the commission to reconsider its decision filed last month to dismiss ACFAN's appeal of a permit by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources granted in December related to a K&H Partners injection well. The company has two in the Torch area.

The permit was a drilling permit which authorized K&H Partners to drill in Troy Twp. in Athens County. After being drilled, the well was proposed to be utilized for the injection of waste materials. The decision was made by the chief of the Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management.

In January, a motion was made by the division to dismiss the appeal filed by ACFAN and the commission granted that motion finding that the commission did not have the authority to hear an appeal of the chief's decision. ODNR argued that although injection well permits could be appealed, drilling permits — such as the one in question — are not appealable to the commission under Ohio law.

ACFAN went on to ask the commission to reconsider based on a document that detailing a separate injection well permit issued in April for the K&H well and an allegation that the two-step process used to grant the drilling permit, followed by the April injection permit was not followed for the first K&H injection well granted in December.

While the commission has the authority to reconsider its decision in appeal, the commission wrote that ACFAN "has presented no just cause for such reconsideration."

The commission notes that ACFAN alleges interference with its efforts to independently appeal to the commission the injection permit issued in April but adds that those alleged circumstances do not affect the December drilling permit issued.