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Ohio Utica Shale

EPA expecting big turnout at Jan. 12 hearing in Warren

By Bob Downing Published: January 4, 2012

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. 




See the most recent drilling report and an injection wells map From
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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.