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Ohio Utica Shale

Reaction from Ohio Environmental Council

By Bob Downing Published: March 11, 2012

The Ohio Environmental Council was generally supportive of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' draft report on the Youngstown earthquakes and proposed changes to Ohio rules in injection wells.

"The report has a lot to recommend it," the statewide eco-group said in a post. "ODNR deserves credit for utilizing outside experts and making positive recommendations such as limiting injection well pressure and depth that would help keep from happening again and require that waste haulers install electronic transponders to ensure 'cradle to grave' monitoring of all shipments.

"But it is important to put these 'get tough' proposals into context. The context is this: instead of preventative maintenance, Ohio seems to prefer to wait for things to break and then scramble to fix them."

Earthquakes have been linked to injection wells in other states. "During that time, Ohio kept on drilling these wells at a faster and faster pace. If you continually play with fire, you will eventually get burned," OEC said,

"We commend ODNR for taking this necessary action. However, we should have done these studies before injecting millions of gallons of high-pressure fluid into the basement rock," it said.

The eco-group also questioned Ohio does not do more such as monitoring around injection wells to assure that drinking water is safe.

It also called for more local control on deciding where such injection wells will go. At present, ODNR has total control and local officials have no say.

"ODNR's proposals are a nice first step," the OEC said. "But there is still no indication that the state of Ohio is willing to take a step back and think about the big picture of laying down pro-active, protective regulations that will prevent bad things from happening in the first place."

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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.