How is drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shales regulated by Ohio EPA?

Ohio EPA’s water quality certification requirements help reduce impacts to wetlands, streams, rivers or other waters of the state from the construction of a drill site.

For units or activities at the site that emit air pollutants, Ohio EPA may require a permit-to-install and operate (PTIO). A general permit is available for emissions associated with the production phase of the oil or gas well.

Where drill cuttings come into contact with sources of contamination (e.g. synthetic drilling muds, oils and chemical additives) and cuttings are to be shipped off-site for disposal, Ohio EPA considers these materials contaminated soil, which must be managed as a solid waste. These solid wastes must be sent to a permitted solid waste disposal facility. Ohio EPA will also consider proposals to beneficially reuse contaminated soils. If a company is  interested in beneficially reusing contaminated soils, it must get authorization for this activity from Ohio EPA’s Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM) prior to sending the cuttings off-site.

Shale Development in Ohio offers more information and a summary of ODNR and Ohio EPA regulatory authority over oil/gas drilling and production activities.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (ODNR-DOGRM) has primary regulatory authority over oil and gas drilling activity in Ohio, including rules for well construction, siting, design and operation.

ODNR-DOGRM regulates brine disposal in Ohio, including permitting and oversight of Class II underground injection wells used for disposal of waste fluids from oil and gas drilling/production operations. ODNR also registers transporters hauling these fluids in Ohio.

Available for comment

Ohio EPA is accepting comments on draft model general air permits and air permit-by-rule to address operations at oil and gas well sites through March 22, 2013.