Group concerned over mention of Northstar well in ODNR documents


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A group of anti-fracking activists say recent moves by the State of Ohio open the door for natural gas drilling waste to be disposed of in the Valley.

Frackfree Mahoning Valley said documents obtained from ODNR mean waste injection at the controversial Northstar 1 well in Youngstown can resume.

“The chief ordered two companies to be able to haul waste to this site. That would be continued injection out here. We do run the risk if they continue to pump into that place, we do run the risk of having larger and more damaging earthquakes,” said Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer, anti-fracking activist.

The documents the group obtained are waste hauling plan modifications, obtained by two out-of-state companies. The state approved the plans, which includes disposing of natural gas drilling waste at the Youngstown well that is believed to have caused the 4.0 magnitude earthquake in December 2011.

ODNR Public Information Officer Mark Bruce said the documents don’t mean waste injection can resume at the well.

“ODNR’s moratorium is still in place. It will remain in place. There is nothing in our minds that would cause us to change that decision. There will not be any fluid injected into this well today, tomorrow, or any time in the future,” Bruce said.

Youngstown Mayor John McNally said he appreciates the concerns of the anti-fracking groups, but thinks the concerns over the Northstar 1 well is a non-issue and that it is “not high on my list of concerns for the city of Youngstown.”

The Northstar 1 well is just one of more than a dozen locations named in the state documents.

Bruce said the waste hauling companies know the Youngstown well cannot accept drilling waste.

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