How is drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shales regulated?

 As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946. This number should only be used for emergencies. For all other calls, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.

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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