In response to the letter to the editor, "Get educated on poison from injection wells," it seems the author may need a little more education on the issue. The Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program, which is the program that regulates Class II wells, is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act by the U.S. EPA. The U.S. EPA considers the deep injection of brine using Class II disposal wells as the preferred and environmentally safe method for disposal of oilfield fluid wastes. They have been used since the 1930's in the United States and have been the only method of disposal in Ohio since 1984 when Ohio passed HB 501.
In 1984, Ohio gained primacy of this program by demonstrating that Ohio met or exceeded program requirements set forth by the EPA. It should also be noted that over 40 states also have primacy over their UIC programs. In others, the EPA issues permits for Class II UIC wells. For Ohio to maintain their primacy, they must continue to demonstrate their ability to effectively regulate the program to the EPA.
No states have banned Class II wells as the author claims in his letter to the editor. In fact, both Pennsylvania and West Virginia have Class II wells, although not as many, that are regulated by the US EPA because they do not have primacy. The reason Ohio is getting brine from these states is because Ohio has 181 class II wells. This is due to geology and the passage of HB 501 in 1984 which provided Ohio with ample Class II wells.
The author also asserts that the fluids will somehow migrate back up to the surface. This is not the case. There has never been a case of fluids migrating back to the surface or into drinking water from these formations in Ohio. Once the fluids are injected underground they are accepted into the formation in which they are targeted. These fluids are separated from our drinking water sometimes by more than 2 miles. To ensure they remain there are multiple layers of cap rock which do not allow fluids to pass through them. These wells are carefully researched by geologists to ensure proper containment.
Ohio has one of the strictest UIC programs in the United States and continues to exceed the EPA standards with the recent passage of SB 315. These wells are regulated by ODNR under the supervision of the EPA and will continue to put the public's safety first.
and vice president
of the Southeastern
Ohio Oil & Gas