Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fracking Waste Injection Well Fails - Why Build Five More Possible Failures in Brookfield Ohio?

News Release:
Frackfree America National Coalition, based in Youngstown, Ohio
Buckeye Environmental Network www.buckeyeenvironmentalnetwork.org
Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ)  www.chej.org
For Immediate Release:  November 27, 2017
Contact: Jane Spies, M.S. Ed.: Phone:  330-619-0730 or   234-201-8007 or
e-mail:  frackfreeamerica@gmail.com
Contact: Teresa Mills: Phone:   614-507-4406 or e-mail:   tmills@chej.org
Groups will hold a public town hall–style, panel discussion meeting in Brookfield, Ohio about five proposed fracking waste injection wells planned to be sited in Brookfield way too near family homes, businesses, and government buildings.
       Concerned Brookfield citizens and groups will hold a town hall-style, panel discussion meeting on Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 7 PM to 9:30 PM at the Brookfield Fire Hall, at 774 State Route 7 NE, Brookfield, Ohio, 44403 to provide information and to let the community voice their concerns regarding five proposed fracking waste injection wells.[1] The wells are planned to be located in the Brookfield community in a highly populated area too close to known epicenters of man-made earthquake activity.[2] The meeting is free and open to the public. Groups helping to coordinate the meeting are Frackfree America National Coalition, based in Youngstown (www.frackfreeamerica.org ), Buckeye Environmental Network (www.buckeyeenvironmentalnetwork.org ), and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (www.CHEJ.org ).
       Construction of a fracking waste injection well site in Brookfield, Ohio has begun[3] as of about November 13, 2017, but it’s not a “done deal,” say the groups, as additional Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) permits are required for the company to fully operate and inject fracking waste – much of it to come from out-of-state if the wells are eventually approved.  Highland Field Services, a Seneca Resources subsidiary, is the company planning to site five injection wells in the Brookfield community.[4]
       Citing unanswered questions about an apparently mysteriously abandoned old injection well near the Brookfield high school and other serious public health and safety concerns,[5] groups call for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to revoke and deny drilling permits and to immediately halt current injection well construction in Brookfield, Ohio, that is reportedly already slowing traffic.

       One would think that if an attempted siting of an injection well near the high school in Brookfield [6] seems to have failed for some reason, that failure should be thoroughly scrutinized, publicized, and scientifically understood before any other company tries to locate five more injection wells in essentially the same geologic area.  It’s just common sense. It’s transparency.

        Why didn’t the older injection well in Brookfield, called the Hray-Mullenax well, become active? Was American Energy Associates’ request to ODNR to plug their injection well ever approved by ODNR? [7]  What’s to prevent the same or a similar situation from reoccurring at the new proposed injection well site near Wyngate Manor in Brookfield if officials just rush ahead without fully understanding or adequately disclosing the history of what might have happened at the older injection well?
       A public records request has been submitted to ODNR, and we eagerly await their answers to some crucial questions about why the old injection well, the Hray-Mullenax, apparently has been abandoned.  (The old injection well is hereafter referred to as Hray in this document.)
      Why would the Hray injection well owner put enormous amounts of money, over a period of perhaps years, into constructing the injection well and then just decide to leave and walk away, if he did, especially after ODNR inspection reports [8] indicate that “most of the surface facility” had been constructed, according to an inspectors’ note of December 19, 2016? [9]
       Furthermore, according to two ODNR inspection report entries of the Hray injection well dated 10/10/2014 and 10/11/14:
“ … Circulation was lost at approximately 155 feet deep. …”   “A mine sting [sic] was set through a suspected mine void at approximately 152 feet deep. …” [10]
       A mine void was encountered?  This is especially troubling in light of the fact that recently discovered “large holes” in the ground (not far from the Hray injection well site) have opened up in Brookfield’s township park because abandoned coal mines from the 1890s collapsed. There are plans for ODNR to seal the mines at the site, which has been fenced in, according to the Tribune Chronicle (11/7/2017).[11]
       Could there be some connection between the old Hray injection well drilling and the opening up of the “large holes” in the northern part of the park - or not?  They could be totally unrelated, but ODNR must show the public the proof. Answers must be provided by ODNR before any other injection well drilling is allowed to proceed, in our opinion, in order to protect the public health and safety.

       The ODNR permit issued on August 4, 2014 for the now-abandoned Hray injection well indicates that ODNR required “microseismicity” monitoring in the permit conditions before the old Hray injection well could inject.[12]  Did microseismic monitoring take place and, if yes, when?  Did they find seismicity (earthquakes), or not?  Where are the seismic records if they exist?  Could seismicity be a reason that the Hray site was abandoned?  The community needs to know.
       According to the June 30, 2016 entry of the ODNR inspection reports on the Hray injection well:
       “At the time of my inspection, American Energy has removed all of the impacted soil and vegetation affected by the leaking frac tanks.  Grass seed and straw has been spread.  The frac tanks are missing 4” plugs. I called Bob Barnett, owner of American Energy.  I instructed Mr. Barnett to install plugs on all of the frac tanks.”[13]
       It is not clear whether or not the plugs were installed because the inspection reports seem incomplete. If there was a leak that impacted soil and vegetation so that it had to be removed, why was this situation not publicized when it happened?  Were the Brookfield Trustees notified? Certainly, the Brookfield community should have been informed if there was a problem of this nature.

       Finally, why are there no inspection reports for 2017 that we can find?  Where are the required inspection reports? The last one we’ve been able to locate was dated December 19, 2016.  ODNR should still be inspecting the old injection well.  When was the most recent inspection?

       Brookfield is an abandoned coal mine area.[14]  According to an article in the Columbus Dispatch (9/2/2008), it is unknown precisely where all of the abandoned coal mines in eastern Ohio might be.”The state’s work is made more difficult because no maps exist for at least 2,300 of Ohio’s estimated 6,600 old mines.” [15]
       Since it is not known where all abandoned coal mines might be or where unmapped faults that could cause earthquakes might lie, it is gambling with the public health and safety to locate five injection wells in Brookfield.  It is unacceptable.  It cannot happen because it is not in the public interest.
       Even if the new proposed five injection well operation is not directly over a known or mapped abandoned coal mine, what could be the possible impacts if a potential man-made earthquake due to fluid injection were to occur? This is not out of the realm of possibility since Brookfield, Ohio is in an area close to known areas of seismic activity.  Many remember the magnitude 4.0 injection well-linked induced earthquake in Youngstown, Ohio in 2011.[16]  In 1986, there was a magnitude 5.0 earthquake in the Painesville, Ohio area that may have been injection well-linked.[17]  These were not tiny tremors.  The risk of creating induced earthquakes is nothing to toy with.

       All of the above are good, valid reasons why this proposed Brookfield injection well operation should not proceed, as we believe that it poses unacceptable risks to public health and safety, and private property rights and values. This is especially true since this is an abandoned coal mine area that is near known areas of man-made earthquake activity and for other reasons outlined in previous documents and press releases.[18]

        If ODNR permits this massive, heavy industrial injection well operation to proceed in the highly populated Brookfield community, it would be irresponsible and reckless, in light of the potential dangers to public health and safety and private property rights, and social costs involved.[19]  ODNR and the company know about these issues, or they should know by now, especially since many in the public have been objecting to these proposed injection wells for a long time.

       The public, especially the Brookfield community, deserves and needs to hear ODNR and Highland Field Services, a Seneca Resources subsidiary, answer these kinds of questions, and more, in a public setting with media in attendance.  It is the fair and transparent thing to do.

        The November 30, 2017 town hall-style, Brookfield panel discussion will also include information about local and regional injection well and fracking-linked, man-made earthquakes, risks to water and air, and other related issues and possible solutions.  Confirmed panelists are Teresa Mills, Executive Director of the Buckeye Environmental Network;  Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer, Ph.D., Youngstown State University Distinguished Professor of Geology; Ted Auch, Ph.D. of The FracTracker Alliance;  and Michele Garman who lives right next door to an operating injection well.
       Representatives from ODNR and Highland Field Services have been invited to participate as panelists, but their possible attendance is not yet confirmed or disconfirmed.

       The groups, FANC, BEN, and CHEJ believe, based upon science[20] and experience, that injection is inherently unsafe and that no amount of regulation can make it safe, especially in a highly populated, earthquake-prone area where Brookfield is located and where there are abandoned coal mines.

       For more information or media inquiries, please see www.frackfreeamerica.org   Email:  frackfreeamerica@gmail.com     or call:  234-201-8007

       For more information about the five proposed Brookfield injection wells, man-made earthquakes, etc. please see:

Visit the November 30th Facebook Event page at:

[1] “Injection-well company applies for 3 more wells on same Brookfield site,” October 11, 2017, Vindicator,     http://www.vindy.com/news/2017/oct/11/injection-well-company-applies-for--more/?newswatch

[2] “Frackfree Mahoning Valley will participate in a prayer service/vigil and hold an informational rally near an injection well site July 12, 2016, “ FMV News release, July 11, 2016,          http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/blog/frackfree-mahoning-valley-will-participate-in-a-prayer-servicevigil-and-hold-an-informational-rally-near-an-injection-well-site-july-12-2016

[3] “Drilling company begins work to construct injection wells,” November 14, 2017,  News on the Green, Facebook page:   https://www.facebook.com/NewsontheGreen/

[4] “Brookfield Residents Worry about 3 More Injection Wells,” by Dan O’Brien, October 4, 2017, Youngstown Business Journal,     http://businessjournaldaily.com/brookfield-residents-worry-about-3-more-injection-wells/

[5] “Frack-waste truck overturns near Coolville,” by Conor Morris, November 21, 2017, The Athens News,    https://www.athensnews.com/news/local/frack-waste-truck-overturns-near-coolville/article_4c0615da-cedd-11e7-82c6-fb0f4cc59baf.html
 “Tanker hauling brine water crashes on SR 800,” by Cathryn Stanley, March 15, 2916, Barnesville Enterprise,          http://www.barnesville-enterprise.com/article/20160315/NEWS/303159060
 “Deadly side effect to fracking boom,” AP, May 5, 2014,     https://www.cnbc.com/2014/05/05/deadly-side-effect-to-fracking-boom.html
“Deadliest Danger Isn’t at the Rig but on the Road,”  by Ian Urbina, May 14, 2012, New York Times,  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/us/for-oil-workers-deadliest-danger-is-driving.html?pagewanted=all
 “Comment to ODNR re: Brookfield injection wells by BEN  CHEJ  FANC “  http://www.buckeyeenvironmentalnetwork.org/news/2017/6/1/comment-to-odnr-re-brookfield-injection-wells-by-ben-chej-fanc
“Frackfree Mahoning Valley will participate in a prayer service/vigil and hold an informational rally near an injection well site July 12, 2016, “ FMV News release, July 11, 2016,          http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/blog/frackfree-mahoning-valley-will-participate-in-a-prayer-servicevigil-and-hold-an-informational-rally-near-an-injection-well-site-july-12-2016
“Drilling concerns in Bristol  Messick Road residents hit with noise, odor, road woes,” by Bob Coupland, November 27, 2017, Tribune Chronicle,      http://www.tribtoday.com/news/local-news/2017/11/drilling-concerns-in-bristol/

[6] “Injection well planned in Brookfield,” by Robbie Byrd,  January 29, 2014, WKBN 27 First News,  http://wkbn.com/2014/01/29/injection-well-planned-in-brookfield/
“ODNR approves Brookfield injection well,” WYTV, August 19, 2014,      http://wytv.com/2014/08/19/odnr-approves-brookfield-injection-well/

[7] “Firm looks to drill two Brookfield injection wells,” by Virginia Shank, Tribune Chronicle, February 3, 2017,   http://content.tribtoday.com/news/local-news/2017/02/firm-looks-to-drill-two-brookfield-injection-wells/

[8] Inspection reports Hray  http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/uploads/1/2/4/0/12404661/hray-mullenex-injection-well-inspection-reports.pdf

[9] ODNR inspection report, entry dated 12/19/2016,  API_WELLNO 34155240910:
 “As of the time of inspection, the well has not been permitted to operate.  The surface facility plan has not been submitted to the Division.  Even though most of the surface facility has been constructed, the construction has not been approved by the Division. […] “          http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/uploads/1/2/4/0/12404661/hray-mullenex-injection-well-inspection-reports.pdf

[10] ODNR inspection report, entries dated 10/10/2014 and 10/11/2014,  API_WELLNO 34155240910      http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/uploads/1/2/4/0/12404661/hray-mullenex-injection-well-inspection-reports.pdf

[11] “ODNR to seal abandoned mine,” by Bob Coupland, November 7, 2017, Tribune Chronicle http://www.tribtoday.com/news/local-news/2017/11/odnr-to-seal-abandoned-mines/

[12]  “ At least 60 days prior to beginning injection operations, American Energy, Inc. shall begin monitoring for microseismicity in the area of the proposed wellsite with at least one instrument.  American Energy, Inc. shall continue to monitor for microseismicity for at least 180 days after injection operations commence.”  Excerpt is from State of Ohio Department of Natural Resources,  Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management Well Permit, Date Issued 8/4/2014, Permit Expires 8/4/2015,  API Well Number:  34-155-2-4091-00-00

[13]  ODNR inspection report, entry dated 6/30/2016,  API_WELLNO 34155240910      http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/uploads/1/2/4/0/12404661/hray-mullenex-injection-well-inspection-reports.pdf

[14] “Mines in Brookfield Township,” website: “Abandoned Coal Mines, Research by Ann Harris, Professor, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Youngstown State University, accessed November 25, 2017,    http://mines.ysu.edu/township_results.php?state=Ohio&link=Trumbull&township=Brookfield&sort=name

[15] “Old coal mines are risk to homes in eastern Ohio, Columbus Dispatch, September 2, 2008 http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2008/09/02/ohcoal.ART_ART_09-02-08_B1_GLB70C0.html
“Earthquake concerns: Some Trumbull County residents warned to be prepared,” by Jack Shea, February 16, 2017, Fox 8 Cleveland,      http://fox8.com/2017/02/16/earthquake-concerns-some-trumbull-county-residents-warned-to-be-prepared/

[16] “Earthquake Time Line,” Vindicator, March 16, 2012   http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/mar/16/earthquake-time-line/

[17] James Risen and Stephanie Droll, “Great Lakes Area Jolted by 5.0 Earthquake,” Los Angeles Times, February  01, 1986,      http://articles.latimes.com/1986-02-01/news/mn-2945_1_great-lakes

[18] “Ohio Citizens to ODNR: Revoke/Deny Five Fracking Waste Injection Permits Immediately – Brookfield wells pose imminent danger to public health, safety, and welfare,” News release from FANC, BEN, CHEJ, October 9, 2017,  http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/blog/ohio-citizens-to-odnr-revokedeny-five-fracking-waste-injection-permits-immediately-brookfield-wells-pose-imminent-danger-to-public-health-safety-and-welfare
“Love Canal environmentalist, Lois Gibbs, visits Valley,” By Matt Stone, July 28, 2017, 21 WFMJ TV,    http://www.wfmj.com/story/35998002/love-canal-environmentalist-lois-gibbs-visits-valley

[19]  The following excerpt from Marketplace quotes Youngstown Fire Department Battalion Chief, Silverio Caggiano. “He is also a member of the regional hazardous materials response team“  according to the article: “ “Oil and gas chemical secrecy is unusual, said Caggiano. In every other sector, truck drivers who transport chemicals carry papers, called Material Safety Data Sheets, listing the contents.
“The driver's MSDS sheets, even if he is not alive, I know where his MSDS sheets are. They're within a foot of his right hand,” Caggiano said. “But with the fracking industry, whatever they're hauling there's not going to be one.” He has signed onto the letter asking the EPA for more disclosure on oil and gas chemicals.” “
The above excerpt is from [article and audio]:      “ ‘The public has a right to know’ : Fracking companies don’t have to disclose chemicals linked to health concerns,” by Scott Tong, November 15, 2017,      https://www.marketplace.org/2017/11/15/sustainability/epas-legalized-suppression-fracking-chemical-secrets

[20] “Drilling Reawakens Sleeping Faults in Texas, Leads to Earthquakes,” by Anna Kuchment , November 24, 2017, Scientific American,      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/drilling-reawakens-sleeping-faults-in-texas-leads-to-earthquakes/

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