BRADY TOWNSHIP – For more than a year, Highland Street Extension residents have voiced concerns about the Brady Township wastewater injection well that has been proposed by Windfall Oil & Gas of Falls Creek.
Residents told WJAC-TV that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be present for a public hearing that’s been tentatively scheduled for the second week of December in Brady Township.
According to previous WJAC-TV reports, there is a more than 20-step process for obtaining a permit for an injection well. Residents are worried that the permit being reviewed by the EPA for Windfall Oil & Gas is nearly completed.
Before issuing a permit, residents are able to request a public hearing. At this hearing, local officials and residents are encouraged to voice their concerns regarding the matter.
“This will affect many people, not just the people who contracted the well. This is going to affect the whole neighborhood,” said Valerie Powers, a resident who has lived on Highland Street Extension for 18 years.
Powers, like other residents, have many concerns about an injection well being constructed near their home. They’re concerned because the well’s casing only extends 50 feet below drinking water and worried that if something goes wrong, their drinking water will be contaminated.
“They continue to dispose of the waste into these injection wells and the waste can go miles underground,” said resident Darlene Marshall. She’s also concerned that the injection well may affect other wells in the area.
“Pennsylvania’s history is that we have drilled wells and many of them deep wells into these same formations. Some abandoned wells have the potential to bring these wastes back up into our water,” she said.
In July, the EPA visited Clearfield County to meet with local officials to discuss the permitting process. During that meeting, officials said there are five brine disposal wells operating in Pennsylvania.
Eight brine disposal wells had been listed from the EPA information in 2011 with one plugged in Indiana. There are two disposal wells in Clearfield County.
Marshall said it is important that neighbors and even Clearfield County residents attend the public hearing.
“Being the last step, we want the community to realize it is a very important time to watch and know when the public hearing is held and get involved and attend,” said Marshall.
“We won’t stop until hopefully we can have a better outcome,” said Powers.