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Ohio Utica Shale

West Virginia plans more water tests near injection well

By Bob Downing Published: June 11, 2013

From the Associated Press:

West Virginia state regulators plan to conduct more water tests near an injection well in Fayette County that pumps oil and gas drilling waste underground.

The Department of Environmental Protection wants to determine whether the well is discharging waste into Wolf Creek.

The Register-Herald reports that water samples taken by the Plateau Action Network and a citizen show elevated levels of chloride and other substances consistent with drilling waste.

DEP spokeswoman Kathy Cosco said the agency is investigating to determine where the samples were taken and whether the well in Lochgelly is the source.

The agency is considering a re-permit application for the well, which is operated by Danny Webb Construction. The deadline for written comments on the re-permit to be submitted to the DEP has been extended until Friday.

Cosco said permit reviewers are examining comments submitted so far, along with notes taken during a June 4 public hearing. A transcript of the hearing will be reviewed when it is available.

A final decision on the re-permit is expected in a couple of weeks, she said.

Environmental organizations and some residents say the well poses a threat to health, water resources and property values. They say its history of violations warrants its closure.

The well is owned and operated by Danny Webb Construction. Webb contends he has operated the well legally and plays down past violations

The well has absorbed more than 1.4 million barrels of waste since its creation in 2002. Concerns over the Lochgelly well date to at least 2004, when a foul odor rolled off the site and into the surrounding neighborhood.

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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.

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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.

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

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