How is drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shales regulated?

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). Several years ago, the Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC) created model General Permits (GPs) for Oil and Gas Well-site Production Operations, with two facility options. More recently, DAPC worked with stakeholders to develop a series of new GPs that can be utilized by Natural Gas Compressor Stations in the network with various types of standard equipment. While the case-by-case permit process may apply for some facilities, the goal and function of GPs is to facilitate permit review of common new installations.

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.

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.

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.


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