Akron Beacon Journal

October 30, 2013

ODNR confirms hydraulic fracturing in Ohio has not contaminated groundwater; plans to propose rules authorizing impoundments

Source: http://www.lexology.com, October 22, 2013
By: Anne C. Foster, Baker & Hostetler LLP

A recent article published in the Akron Beacon Journal indicates (click here) that of the 183 water-well complaints received by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) between 2010 and mid-October 2013, “only six water supplies were impacted by drilling over the nearly four-year period.” By phone, Mark Bruce, a spokesman from the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management of ODNR, mentioned that ODNR thoroughly investigates each complaint it receives, and in some cases, investigations may still be ongoing. Nonetheless, he also confirmed that neither hydraulic fracturing nor horizontal drilling were to blame for the issues ODNR found at the six-impacted sites. Rather, the fact that these sites were generally decades old and abandoned led to the adverse findings.

As the article specifies, ODNR’s findings were not surprising, as “older wells and abandoned wells are more likely to create water-well problems with neighbors than horizontal wells.” With that said, however, ODNR continues to examine best practices from industry players, other states, and concerned citizens to minimize risks to human health and the environment. By way of example, ODNR is currently drafting rules which will outline a permitting process for flowback water impoundments applicable to companies choosing to use such pools in connection with horizontal drilling. Bruce also mentioned that companies may use the impoundments for the purpose of storing freshwater to be used in the fracturing process or storing (and perhaps reusing) the flowback fluids in future fracturing projects.

For further information regarding the flowback water rules and rulemaking, please refer to the following sources:





December 6, 2012

New waste-to-energy project will turn Akron landfill gases into electricity

Source: Akron Beacon Journal (OH), November 22, 2012
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

Akron’s Hardy Road Landfill is producing electricity for the municipal sewage treatment plant as part of a new waste-to-energy project.

The city and Hull & Associates Inc. on Wednesday hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $2.75 million project at the city sewage plant off Akron-Peninsula Road next to the Cuyahoga River.

The green project will boost Akron’s environmental efforts, Mayor Don Plusquellic said.

But there’s more: “It’s just good business,” he said.

The project is expected to produce environmentally friendly power for at least 15 years, said Steve Giles of Hull & Associates, based in the Columbus suburb of Dublin.

The project relies on methane-rich landfill gas produced by decaying garbage at the city-owned landfill that closed in 2002.

Landfill gas is about 50 percent methane, the primary component of natural gas.

The 210-acre landfill contains about 6 million tons of trash and produces about 330 cubic feet of methane per minute.

That gas has been collected and flared, or burned off, to prevent it from migrating off site. Methane gas from the landfill leaked out in 1984 and blew up a nearby house. The city purchased and razed 10 other nearby homes.…