Feds give high praise to ODNR injection well monitoring

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is getting high praise from the United State Environmental Protection agency.

The U.S. EPA released recently released a report on Ohio’s Class II Underground Injection Control (UIC) program and found that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) regulatory program is of “good quality” and continues to provide strong protections for Ohio’s underground sources of drinking water.

The U.S. EPA report states that the ODNR UIC program is, “strong in several areas including permitting, inspections and resolving violations found during inspections.” The review also found that ODNR was meeting or exceeding federal requirements in 17 of the 20 criteria reviewed.

“We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. EPA in reviewing our program and are pleased that they found what we have long believed, that Ohio has a regulatory structure that is effective and providing the necessary protections for our citizens and the environment,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “The report shows that our extensive investment in the Class II program has enhanced protections for Ohioans, the environment and our underground drinking water resources, but there is always room for improvement so we will continue work to strengthen those protections.”

ODNR is among the first states in the nation that has the authority to require seismic monitoring at Class II injection wells.

As oil and natural gas production continue to set records in Ohio, ODNR officials say they are committed to exceeding federal expectations and regulations to ensure brine is disposed in a proper manner that ensures the protection of ground water.

The U.S. EPA report states that the ODNR UIC program is, “strong in several areas including permitting, inspections and resolving violations

The suggested program enhancements recommended in the report are for select areas of the program including storing more operator information and closing operator reporting gaps. ODNR has begun taking steps to remedy comply with the recommendations.

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