Judge Tosses Appeal to Re-Open Trumbull, OH Injection Well

It appears that in Ohio it’s A.O.K. for regulatory bodies to write laws–something the legislature is supposed to do–and not only can they write laws, they can take their sweet time doing it, denying a legally permitted business the right to conduct operations in the meantime. And if the legally permitted business seeks justice in the court system? Yeah, even the judge sides with the all-powerful state to prevent that business from operating. That about sums up the situation in Ohio for American Water Management Services (AWMS). AWMS owns a wastewater injection well in Trumbull County that supposedly caused a low-level earthquake (that nobody could feel) in 2014. Two wells located at the site, both operated by AWMS, were “temporarily” shut down by the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources following the quake (see ODNR Temporarily Shuts Down Injection Wells After Low-Level Quake). One of the two injection wells was allowed to re-open, but not the other (see ODNR Clears Trumbull Co. Injection Well in August Quake). Why was one well allowed to re-open but not the other? Because the ODNR is supposedly crafting new regulations that will govern the offending well that may or may not have caused the low-level quake. When will we see those new regs? Who knows! AWMS appealed ODNR’s decision to keep the second well shut down to the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission, a body that works for (yes) the ODNR. Unsurprisingly the Commission found ODNR is within its right to keep the second well shut down while it takes its time writing new regulations. AWMS appealed the Commission’s decision to a court, and the judge threw out the case because of a filing deadline legal hoop AWMS didn’t jump through properly…

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