WARREN, Ohio – Trumbull County commissioners have echoed concerns that Brookfield trustees have about plans to drill two new wastewater injection wells in the township.

In a three-paragraph letter to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, signed Wednesday by Commissioner Frank S. Fuda, the county, much like the township, raised concerns about additional truck traffic near a mobile home park and the community’s major fire station. The commissioners state they also are concerned about potential contamination in nearby coal mines that could affect water tables.

“The commissioners agree with the trustees regarding safety concerns for the residents and is respectfully requesting (ODNR) to consider addressing these serious concerns,” the letter states.

Highland Field Services LLC, (HFS) a Pittsburgh subsidiary of Houston-based Seneca Resources Inc., is looking to develop the wells near state Route 7 just north of Wyngate Manor Mobile Home Park.

Brookfield trustees, in a March 13 letter, also mentioned concerns about potential earthquakes caused by “excess pressure and change to the underground infrastructure.”

Trustees have urged residents to contact ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas with objections as soon as possible. Tuesday is the deadline for submitting comments or objections in writing to ODNR, which regulates class II injection wells that are used to dispose of oilfield wastewater.

Comments are reviewed by the Underground Injection Control technical staff and the chief of ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management once the comment period ends, said Steven Irwin, an ODNR spokesman.

A group in opposition to the Brookfield wells, the Youngstown-based Frack Free America National Coalition, has scheduled a protest rally at 1:15 p.m. today at the township green at state Route 7 and Warren-Sharon Road.

ODNR received HFS’ applications Jan. 19. If approved, the saltwater injection wells would be near an American Energy Associates’ injection well drilled two years ago that never became active.

Rob Boulware, HFS manager of stakeholder relations, in an email to the Tribune Chronicle Wednesday, stated, “Seneca Resources and Highland Field Services, LLC support the rights of individuals to lawfully voice their concerns with any project. We also note that the ODNR comment period is another time and place that concerned citizens may voice their concerns.”

Area residents have continued to voice concerns over local injection well activity since 2011, when a series of minor earthquakes hit the Mahoning Valley, including a 4.0-magnitude earthquake on Dec. 31, 2011. An ODNR report concluded the Northstar 1 injection well owned by D&L Energy Systems had been drilled into a previously undiscovered geological fault line. The report suggested the earthquakes were the result of brine water lubricating that fault line and causing it to slip. The well, on Youngstown’s west side, was closed and never reopened.

Vienna officials unsuccessfully fought to keep a well along state Route 193 from injecting oilfield waste. But the owner, Oklahoma City-based KTCA Holdings LLC, secured the state’s OK to begin operations in September.

Before selling the site to KTCA, Kleese Development Associates, or KDA, drilled but never activated the well. KDA faced scrutiny following a 2015 chemical spill that was linked to the company’s facility on Sodom Hutchings Road in Vienna. In April 2015, KDA was found in violation of several sections of the Ohio Administrative Code addressing polluting the environment, and operations of the five injection wells at the facility were ordered to stop.

Operation by Howland-based American Waste Management Services of an injection well located off state Route 169 in Weathersfield has been temporarily halted pending litigation in Franklin County.

gvogrin@tribtoday.com

vshank@tribtoday.com

Deadline

Objections to two proposed Brookfield wastewater injection wells must be made in writing before Tuesday to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas, 2045 Morse Road, Building F2, Columbus, OH 43229.