ODNR checks Brookfield for ‘boom’ noise

Monitors put near drilling sites

BROOKFIELD — Representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources have been in the township in the last month to check into “boom” noises residents reported hearing in late December and early January.

Steve Irwin, a spokesman with ODNR, said Brookfield officials made the ODNR aware of residents’ concerns. He said seismic monitors were placed in January near injection well drilling sites off state Route 7.

Residents hearing loud boom noises after New Year’s Eve and in early January reported their issues to Brookfield police.

Irwin said ODNR was in contact with Seneca Highland Field Services LLC in Pittsburgh, a subsidiary of Seneca Resources, which is placing the injection wells.

“We have done a check of the site and have had the seismic monitors there 24-7 collecting data,” he said.

Residents who spoke to township trustees on Feb. 4 said they were told by police the loud noises may have been from guns being fired, but residents said the sound was more like an explosion.

“There was nothing found to determine that an explosion had taken place there,” said Irwin.

Police Chief Dan Faustino has told residents and township trustees he’s been to the area in question to check into the reports.

Brookfield Trustee Dan Suttles said he spoke to Rick Skidmore, an ODNR field representative, who has been at the site, and also to ODNR officials in Columbus.

“The field rep is there on a regular basis and found no seismic activity or explosions coming from the site,” Suttles said.

As for concerns of bright lights at night, Suttles said he spoke with a representative of Seneca Highland Field Services who said the company will meet with trustees.

“They have been very cooperative and receptive to do what they can to address the residents’ concerns,” he said, noting he was told the lights may be able to be moved to a different direction.

“I have received several complaints over the holidays about loud booms. … I contacted the ODNR. They did a check of the area and the seismic monitor devices didn’t record anything,” Suttles said.

He had said there was a police report of people shooting firearms on New Year’s Eve.

Resident Gloria Douglas, who lives in Wyngate Manor, told trustees there is always noise at the site. She said in January, she and other residents heard several explosion-like booms.

Trustees have sent letters to former state attorney general Richard Cordray and Gov. Mike DeWine asking for their thoughts on the wells and to hear Brookfield’s concerns.

Faustino said no recent sounds have been reported, and Suttles says the township will continue to monitor the situation.

Injection wells force wastewater from the gas and oil industry deep underground as a means of disposal.

Jane Spies with Frack Free America said residents have opposed the wells, citing concerns of earthquake and environmental impact and concerns residents’ water supply could be affected by well operations.