Ohio wells dispose of more fracking waste - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Ohio wells dispose of more fracking waste

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Sistersville Woman Crowned Mrs. West Virginia, Will Compete for National Title

    Sistersville Woman Crowned Mrs. West Virginia, Will Compete for National Title

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 4:17 AM EDT2014-07-15 08:17:38 GMT
    A Sistersville mother, wife, and soon-to-be teacher, holds another very impressive title as she gets ready to take on the competition on a national stage.Mrs. West Virginia, Melissa Smith, will compete for the title of "Mrs.United States," in September. Smith travels throughout the state right now helping to push her platform. "Right now, I'm very focused on improving literacy education. I'm going to be an elementary school teacher and I have been traveling throughout West Virginia reading to...
    A Sistersville mother, wife, and soon-to-be teacher, holds another very impressive title as she gets ready to take on the competition on a national stage.Mrs. West Virginia, Melissa Smith, will compete for the title of "Mrs.United States," in September. Smith travels throughout the state right now helping to push her platform. "Right now, I'm very focused on improving literacy education. I'm going to be an elementary school teacher and I have been traveling throughout West Virginia reading to...
  • Federal judge in Martinsburg, West Virginia, sends 10 to prison for violating probation

    Federal judge in Martinsburg, West Virginia, sends 10 to prison for violating probation

    Sunday, July 6 2014 11:00 AM EDT2014-07-06 15:00:12 GMT
    Nine Martinsburg, West Virginia, residents and another from Keyser were sentenced to federal prison for breaking the law while they were on supervised release or probation.
    Nine Martinsburg, West Virginia, residents and another from Keyser were sentenced to federal prison for breaking the law while they were on supervised release or probation.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The amount of waste from the shale gas and oil drilling process injected into disposal wells in Ohio is continuing to rise, according to data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The agency reported that 14.2 million barrels of fluids and other waste from the process of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — were injected into disposal wells in the state in 2012. That was up 12 percent from the previous year.

The increase was driven by waste removed from shale wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In fact, Ohio data show that disposal wells here injected 8.16 million barrels of waste from other states — a 19 percent increase from 2011. The Columbus Dispatch  reported the data Monday.

The waste comes from fracking, a process that pumps millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals deep below ground to break up shale and free trapped oil and gas. The boom in recent years in eastern Ohio and other states has reduced oil and gas imports and generated billions of dollars for companies and landowners.

In the process, some of the fluids bubble back up with the gas. Oil and gas wells also produce saltwater contaminated with metals and radioactive materials trapped underground for millions of years.

Opponents who contend that spent fracking fluids pollute groundwater say they are concerned about the increase.

"I think we've been the sacrifice zone for the oil and gas industry long enough," said Teresa Mills, fracking coordinator for the Buckeye Forest Council. "How much can we take before there are more earthquakes and before (drinking water) wells are contaminated?"

But new research in Pennsylvania demonstrates that it's hard to nail down how often natural gas drilling is contaminating drinking water: One study found high levels of methane in some water wells within a half-mile of gas wells, while another found some serious methane pollution occurring naturally, far away from drilling.

The flow of fracking waste into Ohio began in 2011 after Pennsylvania oil and gas regulators ordered businesses to stop dumping the waste in that state's streams. Unlike Ohio, Pennsylvania doesn't have the authority to oversee and permit the drilling of its own disposal wells. Companies seeking federal permits for the disposal wells have found that approval can take months.

As more waste comes into Ohio, companies are drilling more disposal wells. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said there are 191, compared with 177 in January 2012.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press