This story comes from public television in Athens, Ohio. By way of background, earlier this year public television station WOUB provided “special coverage” of the “fracking frenzy.” While the story was touted as a balanced look at the economic benefits and environmental downsides, it appears from the WOUB web site that shale energy is not held in high regard. The specific issue in the story is an injection well in Athens County that accepts brine water from out of state. An anti shale gas group was refused a public hearing (state law does not require such a hearing) to discuss operational issues.
Water issues are critical in regards to horizontal drilling in the Utica and Marcellus. Ohio’s easy access to injection wells for the waste water provides strong assistance for the industry. That said, injection wells are currently the most debated aspect of the water quotient. The potential seismic activity and the out of state waste issue could jeopardize the long term viability of this treatment option.