Officials seek injection well moratorium

BROOKFIELD — With word three more injection wells may be coming to the township, trustees are seeking help from state officials to get a moratorium in place to limit the number of wells locally.

Trustees are also seeking help from the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency to have a local disaster plan in place in case something were to happen at one of the wells.

Trustee Gary Lees said Monday officials were informed that Highland Field Services LLC in Pittsburgh, a subsidiary of Seneca Resources, which already has two injection wells off state Route 7 in the township, has filed a permit application with Ohio Department of Natural Resources to have three more injection wells in the same area.

“We are concerned that now three more injection wells are coming. There will now be 21 injection wells in the county. My concern is we need to protect our citizens and have a protocol of safety. We need to have something in place to be prepared in case something were to happen at one of these wells,” Lees said.

Linda Beil, director of the Trumbull EMA, attended Monday’s trustee meeting to address emergency protocol and planning for the township. She said if a disaster of any type were to take place, the EMA would work with the township’s police and fire chiefs on designating emergency shelters or evacuation procedures. Beil said the American Red Cross would also be involved in getting shelters, if needed.

Trustee Ron Haun said accidents happen and residents need to be protected.

“For some reason Trumbull County is where they want to have these injection wells. We have the most in the state,” Haun said.

Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda said he would contact ODNR to request a meeting on the wells with officials from Trumbull EMA and Trumbull County Combined Health District and representatives of Seneca Resources. He said it is difficult to get ODNR to come to a public meeting, but maybe a meeting with trustees only.

Fuda said state representatives Glenn Holmes, D-McDonald and Michael J. O’Brien, D-Warren, and state Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta, are working at the state level to get a moratorium placed on the number of wells in Trumbull County.

Jane Spies from Frack Free America said the injection wells need to be haulted since the local area is earthquake prone.

“These permits need to be put on hold since these wells are a threat to the public’s health and safety,” she said.

Ray Beiersdorfer, a Youngstown State University geology professor, said Brookfield is in “an earthquake prone risk zone” that sits east of a fault area in the county.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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