6111.044 Injection well drilling or operating permit.

Upon receipt of an application for an injection well drilling permit, an injection well operating permit, a renewal of an injection well operating permit, or a modification of an injection well drilling permit, operating permit, or renewal of an operating permit, the director of environmental protection shall determine whether the application is complete and demonstrates that the activities for which the permit, renewal permit, or modification is requested will comply with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and regulations adopted under it; the "Safe Drinking Water Act," 88 Stat. 1661 (1974), 42 U.S.C.A. 300(f) , as amended, and regulations adopted under it; and this chapter and the rules adopted under it. If the application demonstrates that the proposed activities will not comply or will pose an unreasonable risk of inducing seismic activity, inducing geologic fracturing, or contamination of an underground source of drinking water, the director shall deny the application. If the application does not make the required demonstrations, the director shall return it to the applicant with an indication of those matters about which a required demonstration was not made. If the director determines that the application makes the required demonstrations, the director shall transmit copies of the application and all of the accompanying maps, data, samples, and information to the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management, the chief of the division of geological survey, the chief of the division of soil and water resources, and, if the well is or is to be located in a coal bearing township designated under section 1561.06 of the Revised Code, the chief of the division of mineral resources management in the department of natural resources.

The chief of the division of geological survey shall comment upon the application if the chief determines that the proposed well or injection will present an unreasonable risk of loss or damage to valuable mineral resources. If the chief submits comments on the application, those comments shall be accompanied by an evaluation of the geological factors upon which the comments are based, including fractures, faults, earthquake potential, and the porosity and permeability of the injection zone and confining zone, and by the documentation supporting the evaluation. The director shall take into consideration the chief's comments, and the accompanying evaluation of geologic factors and supporting documentation, when considering the application. The director shall provide written notice to the chief of the director's decision on the application and, if the chief's comments are not included in the permit, renewal permit, or modification, of the director's rationale for not including them.

The chief of the division of oil and gas resources management shall comment upon the application if the chief determines that the proposed well or injection will present an unreasonable risk that waste or contamination of recoverable oil or gas in the earth will occur. If the chief submits comments on the application, those comments shall be accompanied by an evaluation of the oil or gas reserves that, in the best professional judgment of the chief, are recoverable and will be adversely affected by the proposed well or injection, and by the documentation supporting the evaluation. The director shall take into consideration the chief's comments, and the accompanying evaluation and supporting documentation, when considering the application. The director shall provide written notice to the chief of the director's decision on the application and, if the chief's comments are not included in the permit, renewal permit, or modification, of the director's rationale for not including them.

The chief of the division of soil and water resources shall assist the director in determining whether all underground sources of drinking water in the area of review of the proposed well or injection have been identified and correctly delineated in the application. If the application fails to identify or correctly delineate an underground source of drinking water, the chief shall provide written notice of that fact to the director.

The chief of the division of mineral resources management shall review the application as follows:

If the application concerns the drilling or conversion of a well or the injection into a well that is not or is not to be located within five thousand feet of the excavation and workings of a mine, the chief of the division of mineral resources management shall note upon the application that it has been examined by the division of mineral resources management, retain a copy of the application and map, and immediately return a copy of the application to the director.

If the application concerns the drilling or conversion of a well or the injection into a well that is or is to be located within five thousand feet, but more than five hundred feet from the surface excavations and workings of a mine, the chief of the division of mineral resources management immediately shall notify the owner or lessee of the mine that the application has been filed and send to the owner or lessee a copy of the map accompanying the application setting forth the location of the well. The chief of the division of mineral resources management shall note on the application that the notice has been sent to the owner or lessee of the mine, retain a copy of the application and map, and immediately return a copy of the application to the director with the chief's notation on it.

If the application concerns the drilling or conversion of a well or the injection into a well that is or is to be located within five thousand feet of the underground excavations and workings of a mine or within five hundred feet of the surface excavations and workings of a mine, the chief of the division of mineral resources management immediately shall notify the owner or lessee of the mine that the application has been filed and send to the owner or lessee a copy of the map accompanying the application setting forth the location of the well. If the owner or lessee objects to the application, the owner or lessee shall notify the chief of the division of mineral resources management of the objection, giving the reasons, within six days after the receipt of the notice. If the chief of the division of mineral resources management receives no objections from the owner or lessee of the mine within ten days after the receipt of the notice by the owner or lessee, or if in the opinion of the chief of the division of mineral resources management the objections offered by the owner or lessee are not sufficiently well founded, the chief shall retain a copy of the application and map and return a copy of the application to the director with any applicable notes concerning it.

If the chief of the division of mineral resources management receives an objection from the owner or lessee of the mine as to the application, within ten days after receipt of the notice by the owner or lessee, and if in the opinion of the chief the objection is well founded, the chief shall disapprove the application and immediately return it to the director together with the chief's reasons for the disapproval. The director promptly shall notify the applicant for the permit, renewal permit, or modification of the disapproval. The applicant may appeal the disapproval of the application by the chief of the division of mineral resources management to the reclamation commission created under section 1513.05 of the Revised Code, and the commission shall hear the appeal in accordance with section 1513.13 of the Revised Code. The appeal shall be filed within thirty days from the date the applicant receives notice of the disapproval. No comments concerning or disapproval of an application shall be delayed by the chief of the division of mineral resources management for more than fifteen days from the date of sending of notice to the mine owner or lessee as required by this section.

The director shall not approve an application for an injection well drilling permit, an injection well operating permit, a renewal of an injection well operating permit, or a modification of an injection well drilling permit, operating permit, or renewal of an operating permit for a well that is or is to be located within three hundred feet of any opening of any mine used as a means of ingress, egress, or ventilation for persons employed in the mine, nor within one hundred feet of any building or flammable structure connected with the mine and actually used as a part of the operating equipment of the mine, unless the chief of the division of mineral resources management determines that life or property will not be endangered by drilling and operating the well in that location.

Upon review by the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management, the chief of the division of geological survey, and the chief of the division of soil and water resources, and if the chief of the division of mineral resources management has not disapproved the application, the director shall issue a permit, renewal permit, or modification with any terms and conditions that may be necessary to comply with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and regulations adopted under it; the "Safe Drinking Water Act," 88 Stat. 1661 (1974), 42 U.S.C.A. 300(f) as amended, and regulations adopted under it; and this chapter and the rules adopted under it. The director shall not issue a permit, renewal permit, or modification to an applicant if the applicant or persons associated with the applicant have engaged in or are engaging in a substantial violation of this chapter that is endangering or may endanger human health or the environment or if, in the case of an applicant for an injection well drilling permit, the applicant, at the time of applying for the permit, did not hold an injection well operating permit or renewal of an injection well drilling permit and failed to demonstrate sufficient expertise and competency to operate the well in compliance with the applicable provisions of this chapter.

If the director receives a disapproval from the chief of the division of mineral resources management regarding an application for an injection well drilling or operating permit, renewal permit, or modification, if required, the director shall issue an order denying the application.

The director need not issue a proposed action under section 3745.07 of the Revised Code or hold an adjudication hearing under that section and Chapter 119. of the Revised Code before issuing or denying a permit, renewal permit, or modification of a permit or renewal permit. Before issuing or renewing a permit to drill or operate a class I injection well or a modification of it, the director shall propose the permit, renewal permit, or modification in draft form and shall hold a public hearing to receive public comment on the draft permit, renewal permit, or modification. At least fifteen days before the public hearing on a draft permit, renewal permit, or modification, the director shall publish notice of the date, time, and location of the public hearing in at least one newspaper of general circulation serving the area where the well is or is to be located. The proposing of such a draft permit, renewal permit, or modification does not constitute the issuance of a proposed action under section 3745.07 of the Revised Code, and the holding of the public hearing on such a draft permit, renewal permit, or modification does not constitute the holding of an adjudication hearing under that section and Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. Appeals of orders other than orders of the chief of the division of mineral resources management shall be taken under sections 3745.04 to 3745.08 of the Revised Code.

The director may order that an injection well drilling permit or an injection well operating permit or renewal permit be suspended and that activities under it cease after determining that those activities are occurring in violation of law, rule, order, or term or condition of the permit. Upon service of a copy of the order upon the permit holder or the permit holder's authorized agent or assignee, the permit and activities under it shall be suspended immediately without prior hearing and shall remain suspended until the violation is corrected and the order of suspension is lifted. If a violation is the second within a one-year period, the director, after a hearing, may revoke the permit.

The director may order that an injection well drilling permit or an injection well operating permit or renewal permit be suspended and that activities under it cease if the director has reasonable cause to believe that the permit would not have been issued if the information available at the time of suspension had been available at the time a determination was made by one of the agencies acting under authority of this section. Upon service of a copy of the order upon the permit holder or the permit holder's authorized agent or assignee, the permit and activities under it shall be suspended immediately without prior hearing, but a permit may not be suspended for that reason without prior hearing unless immediate suspension is necessary to prevent waste or contamination of oil or gas, comply with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and regulations adopted under it; the "Safe Drinking Water Act," 88 Stat. 1661 (1974), 42 U.S.C.A. 300(f) , as amended, and regulations adopted under it; and this chapter and the rules adopted under it, or prevent damage to valuable mineral resources, prevent contamination of an underground source of drinking water, or prevent danger to human life or health. If after a hearing the director determines that the permit would not have been issued if the information available at the time of the hearing had been available at the time a determination was made by one of the agencies acting under authority of this section, the director shall revoke the permit.

When a permit has been revoked, the permit holder or other person responsible for it immediately shall plug the well in the manner required by the director.

The director may issue orders to prevent or require cessation of violations of this section, section 6111.043 , 6111.045 , 6111.046 , or 6111.047 of the Revised Code, rules adopted under any of those sections, and terms or conditions of permits issued under any of them. The orders may require the elimination of conditions caused by the violation.

Cite as R.C. § 6111.044

History. Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 7/17/2009.

Effective Date: 09-05-2001