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Ohio Utica Shale

Environmental group likes Ohio's revised drilling rules

By Bob Downing Published: May 4, 2012

Testimony is continuing in Columbus on Senate Bill 315 that would tighten Ohio's rules on drilling for natural gas and oil, and one national environmental group likes what Ohio is doing.

That's the Environmental Defense Fund.

"First, we would like to commend the General Assembly and the governor for the thoughtful approach that has been put forward," said Matt Watson, the group's senior energy policy manager, in testimony on Thursday.

"While the individual elements are similar to those required by several other states, Ohio deserves a great deal of credit for putting these standards together as a more complete package than other states have," he said.

"We think this shows exceptional foresight and recognition of the fact that, in order for Ohio to fully capture the benefits that come along with development of the resource, you have to have public acceptance that industry operations will be made safe for public health and the environment," he said.

Transparency is very important, he said in his seven-page statement.

What Ohio wants to do represents "a very good start," he said.

Watson did make suggestions for refinements and improvements in the bill's language.

That included language dealing with fracking fluid chemical disclosure; chemical use in drilling, servicing, operating and plugging wells;  and waste characterization.

Senate Bill 315 would update reporting requirements for chemicals and fluids used.

It would require the nation's first "cradle to grave" reporting for production and injection wells, Ohio says.

It would also require drillers to take water samples within 1,500 feet of proposed horizontal wells (the current rules require tests within 300 feet) and require drillers to disclose where they are getting fresh water for fracking,

The bill also encourages drillers to sign road maintenance agreements with local governments.

 

 

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.