OH to Require Permits for Diesel Engines at Drilling Sites (!)

At the prompting of the federal EPA, and perhaps to preempt any action from the EPA, state officials in the Marcellus region are looking closely at air pollution issues that may be caused by shale gas drilling. For example, permits are likely on the way for drillers in Ohio for a whole list of commonly used equipment found in drilling operations, including…diesel and internal combustion engines?!

As drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations proliferates throughout Ohio, the Buckeye State’s Environmental Protection Agency is working to determine what, if any, air pollution requirements apply to well-site operations in the oil and gas industry.

According to Kathy Milenkovski of the law firm Steptoe & Johnson’s Columbus office, state regulators have determined the following types of equipment or work at gas drilling operations may soon require permits:

  • Dehydration systems – glycol dehydration units and gas condensate (drip gas) glycol separators that use alcohol to separate gas components.
  • Spark ignition internal combustion engines.
  • Diesel engines.
  • Unpaved roadways.
  • Truck loading racks.
  • Oil, condensate and water storage tanks.
  • Combustion devices/flares.
  • Equipment/pipeline leaks.

"At this time, stand-alone gathering stations, gas cleanup operations, gas compressor operations and other similar activities are not expected to be covered by the general permit and will continue to require case-by-case permitting," Milenkovski said.*

*The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register (Aug 11, 2011) – States Join Frack Fray