Updated Mon, Mar 18, 2013 1:08 pm
A coalition of environmental and community groups is asking the federal government to consider suspending Ohio's authority to oversee deep injection of chemically-laced wastewater from oil and gas drilling.
The Center for Health, Environment & Justice and other groups planned to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to investigate and audit Ohio's regulatory program of deep injection wells, operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The call follows February indictments of a northeast Ohio businessman and his employee charging they illegally dumped oil and gas wastes. The two pleaded not guilty Friday.
A series of earthquakes around Youngstown had prompted an effective moratorium on new injection wells in early 2012. The state resumed issuing injection permits in November after imposing new testing, reporting and tracking requirements.