DUBOIS – The Sandy Township Board of Supervisors have ratified its petition requesting for the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider its decision to approve the construction of a disposal injection well in Brady Township.
Due to the petition deadline, the supervisors had previously authorized Township Manager Dave Monella to review information and to proceed with filing it based upon his own judgment. The supervisors officially approved the petition at their meeting Monday night.
Two-and-a-half years ago, Windfall Oil & Gas of Falls Creek proposed a frack/brine fluid disposal injection well to be located on Highland Street Extension in Brady Township. Frank Zelman is the landowner and lease holder with Windfall Oil & Gas.
In Pennsylvania, a Class 2 disposal injection well requires an EPA Underground Injection Control permit. It also requires a state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) well drilling permit.
On Feb. 14, the EPA issued Windfall Oil & Gas its UIC permit for its proposed disposal injection well. However, Windfall Oil & Gas still cannot begin drilling until the EPA finalizes the UIC permit after an appeals period and it also receives its DEP drilling permit.
In his letter on behalf of Sandy Township, Monella pointed out the many “well-stated concerns” cited in the appeals of residents and in other letters of support submitted on behalf of those residents.
“[There are] concerns about the potential contamination of underground water sources, the presence of old coal mines near the project site and the issue of open faults or fractures within the review area,” wrote Monella.
“This injection well is located proximate to numerous residential homes, including homes in Sandy Township. The supervisors previously voiced concern also about the potential for increased seismic activity as a result of the proposed injection well.”
Supervisors Jim Jeffers and Dave Sylvis thanked Darlene and Duane Marshall for their research work over the last two years. Darlene Marshall stated that when she last called regarding the petitions for review, there had been about 60 filings.