If Murrysville officials decide to establish an ordinance to address injection wells in the municipality, Chief Administrator Jim Morrison hopes it won't take seven years to iron out the details.
“We are again faced with a land-use issue similar to what we dealt with on Marcellus shale,” Morrison said, referring to the lengthy process the municipality undertook in developing its fracking ordinance.
Morrison attended a July hearing conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Plum, where Delmont company Penneco Environmental Solutions is seeking permits for an injection well. The permit would allow Penneco to inject 54,000 barrels per month of fracking water and fluids from oil and gas drilling operations into the Murrysville Sands formation over 10 years.
The fluid would be injected into what was once a natural gas well that has been plugged. Studies have connected earthquakes to underground injection wells in Ohio and Oklahoma. In February, a DEP study linked low-magnitude earthquakes in April 2016 in Lawrence County to fracking.
With Murrysville's history as the site of the nation's first gas well — and plenty since then — Morrison felt it was an issue that should be addressed.