COITSVILLE TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – FrackFree Mahoning Valley gathered at an injection well site off of McCartney Road in Coitsville Tuesday, demanding more information about an incident at the well two weeks ago.
The group says a 30-foot geyser was seen coming from the Northstar #6 well on June 24, and members want to know where it came from and what is in the fluid seen near the drilling rig.
FrackFree held a prayer vigil and rally near the site on Tuesday, hoping the injection well is not reopened. They feel that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources left them in the dark about the activity.
They are concerned that fracking at the injection sites are causing man-made earthquakes in northeast Ohio, and say they want more transparency and a local public meeting held by ODNR.
“I want them to explain to me why a place that has had trouble in the past and trouble recently is possibly being reopened so that more trouble can come,” said Reverend Beasley-Martin.
The trouble he is talking about is illegal activity from D&L Energy’s former owner Ben Lupo, who ran several injection sites in the area. In 2014, he was convicted for ordering his employees to dump oil field waste into a storm sewer.
ODNR revoked several permits, including the one for this site.
ODNR spokesperson Matt Eiselstein says the well is under a new owner who wants to potentially operate it again. The owner has to take several steps, including plugging back the well, before operating it.
Eiselstein says what people thought was a geyser was actually the plug-back operation coming out of the injection well. He says the liquid coming up was brine and fresh water, but that it was collected in containers.
The owner still has to conduct several downhole tests, construct a surface facility and request a chief’s order before reopening the well.
Coitsville trustees say they have been talking with ODNR frequently to stay on top of the process, but no public meeting dates have been set yet.