The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is holding a Jan. 12 public hearing on the city of Warren's discharge permit for its sewage-treatment plant.
The Trumbull County hearing will begin at 6 p.m. at Warren G. Harding High School, 860 Elm St. NE. Warren.
The hearing will look at the city's sewage discharges to the Mahoning River. The new permit would be in effect for five years.
But the discussions at that meeting could revolve around the soon-to-end briny wastes from drilling that are being processed by the city's sewage plant.
The EPA's preliminary permit would prohibit the city from accepting, treating and discharging brine wastewater from shale gas drilling, exploration or production.
Last May, the EPA informed the city it would not reauthorize this activity because of the threat to the Mahoning River. The agency said its review of Ohio law blocks it from approving such a permit.
Warren's treatment of the brine wastewater will end with the expiration of its existing permit on Jan. 31.
Warren and Patriot Water Treatmentof Warren have both appealed the EPA decision to a state panel. The appeal is pending.
The city is the only Ohio municipality permitted to handle such low-salinity drilling wastes through its sewage plant. A few other communities were looking into the possibility.
Drilling waste is taken to the Patriot Water Treatment facility where heavy metals were removed. The waste was then pumped next door to the city's sewage plant where the salty wastes were diluted with treated sewage before being dumped into the Mahoning River.
The EPA allowed only 100,000 gallons of briny wastes per day to go to the plant. The city and Patriot want to handle more.
In the wake of the Youngstown earthquakes at an injection well, Patriot Water Treatment is also touting its system as being a safe alternative to injection wells.
The company today issued a three-page news release touting its system over injection wells.
Ohio has 177 injection wells to handle drilling wastes.
The company and the city of Warren expect to meet soon with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to discuss its treatment system.
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.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
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.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.