Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Letter to the Editor: Injection well - an unknown risk

by JUDY WANCHISN on October 15, 2013 10:50 AM

The EPA plans to issue an Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit to Pennsylvania General Energy Co. (PGE) to operate a class II brine disposal injection well by converting a gas production well at the Marjorie C. Yanity farm in Grant Township. That is one mile from my home and possibly yours.

Why is this a problem? The well would be used to dispose of and inject fluids from oil and gas operations into an existing well and could contaminate your water supply.

In order to issue the permit, “the EPA requests public comment on its findings that the proposed injection activity in the draft permit is unlikely to pose a risk to underground sources of drinking water.”

After reading the EPA website and talking to a PGE representative, I am very concerned about this UIC well in my backyard. I researched the other side of the story on the Internet (NPR and ProPublica) and mailed my concerns to the EPA.

If you wish to mail, email or phone your comments on the draft permit, you may do so. That information is listed below, but it must be done by Friday in order to hold a public hearing at the Grant Township Building at 100 East Run Road in Marion Center on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

You must state the nature of the issues that you propose to raise and the EPA reserves the right to cancel the hearing unless a significant degree of public interest is evidenced by Friday.

If you are concerned about the fluids injected into this well (oil, gas, super salty water, toxic metals, radioactive substances, polymers, drilling fluids and mud), you should think about contacting the EPA, which considered these fluids nonhazardous in 1988. Clearfield wells have been shut down due to leaks.

When submitting comments, you must give your full name, address, phone number, email and docket number (LLC (PGE) PAS2D013BIND PROPOSAL).

• Address: Stephen Platt, U.S. EPA, Region 3, Water Protection Div., Office of Drinking Water and Source Water Protection, Ground Water & Enforcement Branch (3 WP22), 1650 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA, 19103

• Email: platt.steve@epa. gov

• Phone: (215) 814-5464

Your water, your life and your home is possibly at risk if this permit is allowed to go through without questions by the residents of this community.

Judy Wanchisn

Marion Center

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