Patriot Water, ODNR at odds over treating drilling waste water - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Patriot Water, ODNR at odds over treating drilling waste water

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WARREN, Ohio - A Warren company treating drilling waste water is at odds with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Patriot Water has been treating brine from Youngstown's D&L energy. That's the company that lost its state permits after owner Ben Lupo was charged with illegally dumping as much as a quarter of million gallons of the waste into the Mahoning River.

Now, the president of Patriot Water tells 21 News that the state ordered D&L to stop sending its water to Patriot.

President Andrew Blocksom says last Friday was the last day his company treated D&L's waste water. He says he's now concerned about what the state has allegedly asked them to do with the water instead.

"The type of water that they're trying to send to an injection well shouldn't go to an injection well," Blocksom said. "It should come to a facility like Patriot so it can be treated properly and safely."

In a letter documenting his conversation with ODNR last week, Blocksom explains his worries to the state agency.

He writes, "I am extremely concerned that ODNR is instructing that this material be injected into Class ll injection wells without notification to the well operators that radioactive waste is involved."

If the water he used to treat is sent underground into a class two injection well he says potential consequences are attached.

"What we've seen in the past, when that happens, is you end up with increased pressures and potential seismic issues that can happen if you try and inject water that shouldn't be injected," he said.

Patriot is the middle man; it treats fracking water, removing hazardous materials, before sending it to the city of Warren's water supply.

He alleges the state is trying to cut him out of the process and profits.

Calls from ODNR were not returned, but the agency's spokesperson, Bethany McCorkle, released this statement: "Currently all brine-certified haulers must have an approved plan that indicates where they are taking oilfield waste. A modified plan must be submitted and approved if a company wishes to add a new destination."

A letter was written to Patriot, notifying them that they were not listed on the approved disposal plan for Shale Transportation, which is required to properly track and ensure the chain of custody for oilfield waste."

But Blocksom says he's never received a letter from ODNR. He says his company has remained in compliance with the USEPA and that he has a permit to accept waste at his facility.

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