In a letter to Governor John Kasich from State Representative Bob Hagan, Hagan called for an indefinite moratorium on the injection wells until citizens can be assured the wells are not changing Ohio's natural environment.
Hagan also stated in his letter he believes ODNR seems to be steeped in communications regarding the positive aspects of oil and gas exploration in the state and he questions if they and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency are able to objectively and genuinely assess what is happening in Ohio.
Officials with ODNR continue to investigate a possible link between the recent valley quakes and the operation of brine injection wells.
Read the full letter below:
January 3, 2012
Dear Governor Kasich,
I write to ask you to please do everything in your power to protect the public health of citizens in the Mahoning Valley and across the state; Please impose an indefinite moratorium on oil and gas waste-disposal injection wells in the state until citizens of Ohio can be assured that such wells are not adversely changing our natural environment in an irreparable way.
As you know, there have now been eleven earthquakes in Youngstown in less than one year. Initially, it was reported by ODNR that- although many epicenters were close to the Ohio Works Drive location of a D&L injection well -there is no link between the well and area rumblings. ODNR maintained this position just one short week ago on Dec. 25th. Now, it appears there has been a small change in thought at the executive level.
Governor, there is much to be said for changing views in light of additional information. However, ODNR seems to be steeped in communications regarding the positive aspects of oil and gas exploration in the state, while ignoring some potentially very serious implications of components such as waste disposal. Now, it is becoming apparent that the real question is whether or not ODNR and Ohio EPA are able to objectively and genuinely asses what is happening in our state.
The question of state capability will not be answered until federal and local counterparts are brought together for a community based discussion on the future of the shale gas industry in the Mahoning Valley and the state. Governor, you and I both know that the oil and gas industry already has the resources and finances to disseminate their message of prosperity. State government needs to be a thoughtful and independent observer of industry activities in Ohio.
State Representative Robert F. Hagan