Safety and Regulations

Here in Ohio, the state’s Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) regulate and oversee each and every step of the energy development process, with most regulations governing safe development laid out in section 1509 of the Ohio Administrative Code. Following are a few of the state requirements that govern drilling and production activities in the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations in Ohio:

Development

Ohio EPA

  • Requires operators obtain authorization for construction activity where even minor impacts to a wetland, stream, or river is possible
  • Requires operators obtain special permit-to-install and operate (PTIO) approvals before operating equipment with air emission potential.

ODNR

  • Issues permits for developing oil and natural gas wells in Ohio.
  • Sets requirements for proper location, design and construction requirements.
  • Inspects and oversees drilling activity.
  • Requires controls and procedures to prevent discharges and releases.
  • Requires that wells no longer used for production are properly plugged.

Wastewater Management

Ohio EPA

  • Requires proper management of solid wastes shipped off-site for disposal.

ODNR

  • Sets design requirements for on-site impoundments used to store drill cuttings and brine/flowback water.
  • Requires proper closure of on-site impoundments after development is completed.
  • Sets standards for managing drill cuttings and sediments left on-site.

Brine/flowback water disposal and hauling

ODNR

  • Regulates the disposal of brine and oversees operation of Class II wells used to inject oil/gas-related waste fluids.
  • Reviews specifications and issues permits for Class II wells.
  • Sets design/construction requirements for Class II underground injection wells.
  • Registers transporters hauling brine and oil/gas drilling-related wastewater in Ohio.

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