Youngstown injection well won't re-open - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Youngstown injection well won't re-open

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Is there a chance a Youngstown injection well connected to numerous earthquakes back in 2011 could be back in operation? A local anti-fracking group believes it might be.

Frack Free Mahoning Valley held a press conference in front of Youngstown city hall Thursday morning to present claims that the injection well located on Ohio Works Drive has been cleared to accept waste once again.

That same well was shut down on December 30, 2011 by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) after earthquakes shook the Valley.

Now, Ray Beiersdorfer from Frack Free said his group uncovered documents he said shows ODNR is allowing to companies to haul brine waste there. The documents are dated January 15, 2014.

"It just seems to me to be totally irresponsible for Chief Simmers of ODNR to go order companies to be able to bring frack waste, radioactive contaminated frack waste, back into Youngstown, back into the Northstar well," said Beiersdorfer.

While the files do seem to indicate the chief of ODNR's Division of Oil and Gas is allowing two companies to do that, 21 News did some checking and discovered they are not.

Tim Marucci owns Briar Hill Slag, which owns the injection well in question. He said the well continues to be closed and his company has no intention of re-opening it.

Mark Bruce, a spokesperson for ODNR, said it's nothing more than a paper work issue.

"If a brine hauler still wishes to list it in their disposal plan, which is what happened in this case, we cannot deny a plan based on that because it's still a permitted well. The companies know they can't haul there. The moratorium is still in place, that will not change from O.D.N.R.'s perspective," said Bruce.

ODNR still continues to inspect the site even though it hasn't accepted waste since 2011. Records indicate that the site was last inspected on June 30, 2014.


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