Editor’s note: There will be a public anti-injection well meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Brentford House, 737 Myron St., Hubbard.
Highland Field Services has been testing the injection well it has built in Brookfield, and more associated construction is planned at the site, said Steve Irwin, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Opponents to the well have been relatively quiet recently, but pledge not to go away. They have offered their support to Hubbard Township officials, who learned in July that Bobcat Energy Resources LLC, Canfield, has applied to build a well at 6958 Hubbard Masury Road, near Route 62. Hubbard township and city officials and residents have attended many events held by Brookfield Citizens Against Injection Wells.
Injection wells are used to dispose of the wastewater generated in the process known as fracking, a method of extracting natural gas from shale.
Deep wells are drilled – in Brookfield’s case, more than 8,700 feet below the surface – and brine, as the wastewater is called, is injected under pressure into porous rock that is between much denser rock layers.
Highland received permits to drill five wells on property north and west of Wyngate Manor Mobile Homes Park, Route 7, but one permit has expired and a Highland spokesman previously said the company will decide whether to drill additional wells after testing.
Highland has been performing pressure and mechanical integrity testing of the well with freshwater and brine, with an ODNR inspector present, Irwin said. Seismic monitoring also is being conducted, he said.
The company will continue to take out trees from the site, and in August will construct a “surface offloading facility,” which includes an underground vault under the brine truck unloading pad that is designed to contain any spills that occur during unloading, and brine storage tanks, according to an ODNR video provided by Irwin.
If Highland decides the well is suitable for its purpose, it has to apply for what is known as a chief’s order, which would give it permission to operate the well. The company has not applied for that permission, Irwin said.
A Highland spokesman acknowledged contact from NEWS On the Green but did not provide an update on the project.
Well opponents are planning a town hall-style meeting for August, said Jane Spies, who is with Frackfree America National Coalition and has helped Brookfield Citizens Against Injection Wells.
The hope is that many people from Hubbard Township and from throughout the region will come to the meeting and form a broad-based coalition opposing injection wells, said Spies, who lives in the city of Hubbard.
“This is really a regional issue,” she said.
The group also is exploring taking legal action at the time Highland applies for its chief’s order, she said.