Drilling Permit Issued For Injection Well In Troy Township

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K&H Partners has been issued a state permit to drill its third injection well in Troy Twp.

“The injection well permit was issued to K&H today and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will monitor each step of the drilling and injection process,” according to a statement released Wednesday by the agency.

The permit was issued without holding a hearing.

ODNR spokesman Eric Heis told The Messenger last month that 243 comments were received about the permit application, with only one in favor of the well. Many of the comments requested a public hearing.

“No public hearing will be held, as no public comment objections were new or unaddressed in the initial permit review process,” Wednesday’s ODNR statement said.

Roxanne Groff, a member of the Athens County Fracking Action Network, said that Rick Simmers, chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, is required to hold a public hearing if relevant and substantive objections are raised. Groff said she believes those who objected to the application met that requirement.

“ODNR has not addressed the substantive and relevant concerns raised by people here in Athens County,” she said.

Groff said that when she got word the permit was issued she was in the process of writing her third letter (regarding this application) to the governor’s office asking him to intervene and require a public hearing.

She asserted that Simmers has failed to address seismic concerns regarding the K&H application. She noted that there has been seismic activity in both Athens County and Washington County.

On its website, the division says that the ODNR Geological Survey performs a records review for each application and provides a structure contour map to determine if there is evidence that faults are present.

In its statement Wednesday, ODNR said: “After an extensive permit review process taking into account public and environmental safety, as well as other variables such as truck traffic, the chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has reviewed all of the public comments and answered all questions on the (division’s) website.”

Wednesday’s ODNR statement provides a link: However, that webpage lists responses to questions raised at a 2012 open house in Athens. K&H Partners applied for the current permit last November.

Heis said Wednesday that similar questions were raised regarding this most recent K&H application, but added that ODNR will also be posting questions and responses relating to this application.

Although opponents of the application have said Athens County’s injection wells already ranked the county second among Ohio counties in the amount injected in 2014, ODNR disagrees.

According to ODNR, reporting for 2014 is not complete and it is expected that Trumbull, Portage, Coshocton and Washington Counties will exceed Athens County. Trumble County has 17 wells, Portage has 16 and Washington has 10 with four additional wells proposed. That information came from a Q&A that ODNR prepared regarding the K&H Partners permit, and which is attached to this article

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

The Athens County Fracking Action Network has a court case pending in Franklin County Common Pleas Court regarding a permit for the second K&H well. ACFAN attempted to appeal the permit to the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission, which ruled it did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter. ACFAN has appealed that ruling to common pleas court.