Drilling related road damage disputed in Trumbull County - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Drilling related road damage disputed in Trumbull County

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JOHNSTON TWP, Ohio - Damage to one roadway in Trumbull County is prompting a change in how the county does business with oil and gas companies.

Neighbors living along Fisher Corinth Road, in Johnston Township, say when Dominion began constructing a compressor station down the road, that's when the roadway began to fall apart.

"I would say for the first four days, every 12 minutes there was a semi on our road, delivering rock, taking dirt out, just coming and going," said Betty Hornbeck.

"If you go up to the corner, where they come off [State Route] 193 that's all busted down, both sides of the roads are busted down," said Jeff Hornbeck. "When it rains now we have all these puddles, it is an old road but we didn't have the damage we have today."

Jack Simon with the County Engineers Office said that while Dominion has agreed to repair portions of the roadway,  the energy company refuses to repair the extent of damage residents claim they caused.

"We didn't videotape or photograph the road. When we asked the contractor if they did they said, 'no they didn't," Simon said. "So there is no proof one way or another what condition the road was in before except for what we talk to the residents and they tell us it was no where near this condition."

As of now, Trumbull County only requires companies drilling horizontal wells to enter into a Road Use Maintenance Agreement, or RUMA. The agreement puts into writing the condition of the roadway before any construction begins.

Simon said because of the damage to Fisher Cornith Road, the County is now expanding the agreement to cover other construction projects associated with the oil and gas industry.

"Up until this point the cooperation with the gas industry has been great," Simon said. "The two gas/oil companies that are drilling in the area have been up front, they've come in, they've done all their repairs; they've come to us ahead of time and told us what they are bringing in. This is really the first problem area we've run into."

A spokesperson with Dominion said they are working with the County Engineers Office to try to resolve the issue to their satisfaction. They added that a road crew will be out Tuesday to make repairs.




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