On July 10, 2012, Ohio Governor Kasich signed an Executive Order (EO) providing for the emergency amendment of the rules governing saltwater injection wells used in the fracking process. The EO closely follows a Senate Bill signed by the governor in June that significantly expanded requirements on horizontal drilling operations in Ohio and which serves as a cornerstone to Ohio’s fracking policy. The stated purpose of the EO is to establish more stringent regulations in the wake of recent seismic events in the Youngstown area linked to brine injection wells. In particular, the EO authorizes the amendment of two rules of Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management program that contain provisions for saltwater injection well permits, and the operation, monitoring and reporting of saltwater injection wells.
Our publication examines the key changes, which affect the rules in three areas: testing, monitoring and reporting, and public notice requirements.