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Ohio Utica Shale

Water district cuts off sales from reservoirs to drillers

By Bob Downing Published: June 7, 2012

 

The Muskingum Conservancy Watershed District today terminated water sales from its reservoirs to natural gas drillers.

The district, based in New Philadelphia, must "slow down the process of managing water sales requests," said John N. Hoopingarner, the district’s executive director/secretary.

The sale of water from its reservoirs will be halted until the district can update its water supply policy that will take into account information reported from an independent water-availability study now under way.

The change stems from concerns expressed by environmental organizations and groups, the public and district staff, the agency said in a press release.

Drillers are eager to get water from six district-managed reservoirs: Clendening Reservoir in Harrison County, Leesville Reservoir in Carroll County, Tappan Lake in Harrison County, Atwood Lake in Carroll and Tuscarawas County, Piedmont Lake in Belmont County and Seneca Lake in Noble and Guernsey counties.

The board has received more than a dozen proposals to tap into its reservoirs for fracking water.

None of those proposals will be considered until after further studies and the update district policy are completed, Hoopingarner said.

The news was hailed by Lea Harper of Senecaville, head of the grass-roots Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water.

She was involved last Saturday in a rally and protest in New Philadelphia against water sales from the district’s reservoirs.

"It’s a wonderful thing," she said. "We’re almost in shock. We had no idea this was coming."

The board had approved the sale of up to 11 million gallons from Clendening Reservoir to Okahoma-based Gulport Energy Co.

A temporary pipeline is being used to draw water from the lake and to transport it to the nearby Gulfport well for hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

The district’s governing board has approved an agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey to do a water availability study for three reservoirs: Atwood, Clendening and Leesville reservoirs.

The district said it hopes to have data from that analysis later this year.

Fracking a well can take from 2 million to 6 million gallons of fresh water, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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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.