Updated Wed, Dec 11, 2013 10:28 am
The state of Ohio has issued a permit for K&H Partners to construct an injection well in Troy Twp.
The permit application, which sparked opposition, was approved Monday, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources confirmed late Tuesday afternoon.
“A comprehensive review was completed for the K&H Partners application and ODNR found no scientific basis to deny the permit,” spokesman Mark Bruce said in an email to The Messenger. “ODNR issued a permit to construct on Dec. 9, 2013, which allows the company to drill and test the well.”
Injection wells are used to dispose of waste from oil and gas wells.
In July, K&H Partners of West Virginia applied for a permit to install an injection well off Athens County Road 63, which runs between Coolville and Torch. The company already has one well in the area. The Athens County Commissioners and some county residents asked ONDR to hold a public hearing on the new permit application, but the state decided against it. The commissioners held their own public meeting, at which more than 30 people spoke in opposition to the permit application.
On Nov. 26, the commissioners voted to request that ODNR not issue the permit until a seismology study be performed. At the time, Bruce told The Messenger that ODNR had “examined seismic features “while reviewing the application.
“It’s despicable,” said Heather Cantino, a member of Athens County Fracking Action Network, on hearing the permit had been issued. “They have no respect for communities and human health.”
In Tuesday’s email, Bruce said that K&H Partners must apply for a permit to operate the injection well after it is drilled.
“An ODNR inspector will witness multiple stages of the drilling process and will also be on site for monitoring and testing,” Bruce said. “If at any time an ODNR inspector determines scientific evidence exists to require additional testing, Ohio law and rule allows for ODNR to require testing.”