ODNR official discusses abandoned mines, fracking - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

ODNR official discusses abandoned mines, fracking

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LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio - With abandoned coal mines scattered across the Mahoning Valley, residents in Liberty Township are concerned about the possible effects fracking and brine injection wells could have on the land.

Monday night a representative from ODNR tried to answer those questions.

Back in 2008 this sinkhole in Mineral Ridge was filled in by the property owner after a collapsing abandoned coal mine caused the crater.

Mineral Ridge is not the only part of the Mahoning Valley littered with abandoned mines, the underground sites run up and down the eastern third of Ohio.

"It's something to be aware of and certainly if you're building a new house you should be concerned and do a certain amount of research to know the locations of these mines," said Tim Jackson, ODNR Abandoned Mine Lands Emergency Program Administrator.

Jackson addressed Liberty Township residents Monday during an educational meeting at the township administration building. Trustee Jodi Stoyak organized the session.

The issue several residents and local officials were concerned about was the possible effects on the mines from fracking and brine injection wells.

Gloria Lang, a Liberty Township Historical Society Trustee, said "we have a lot of mines here and what many of us are concerned about is the relationship of the mines to the possible drilling by any gas or oil wells.  Whether they would have any effect if they were too close to one another or the action of drilling itself would it have any effect on these mines."

Jackson said "at this point we haven't seen any connection between the oil well drilling and any mine activities but the citizens are very concerned and I'll pass those concerns on to the oil and gas people (within ODNR)," Jackson said.

Stoyak said "My issue is to make sure that they are aware that we are concerned here. We want to make sure they know that we are here that they know there are abandoned mines here and they in their divisions in ODNR should communicate with each other."

ODNR has an abandoned underground mine locator map on its web site to help residents search for these locations.  Click here for the map. 

Stoyak hopes to have a follow up educational meeting with a representative from the oil and gas division of ODNR.

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