Addison Township officials made their feelings clear about a proposed injection well at the Lanphar 1-12 Well, located near Leonard and Dequindre Roads.
After Supervisor Bruce Pearson and township Attorney Robert Davis spoke in opposition of the proposed well at an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing held in October, township officials voted 6-0 to pass a resolution opposing the proposed injection well Nov. 20.
Trustee Linda Gierak was absent.
Although the EPA’s public comment period has ended, officials said the resolution will be forwarded to state and federal representatives in an effort to prevent the issuance of the injection well permit to the Canada-based company, Energex Petroleum, Inc., by the EPA.
The township is still currently awaiting the EPA’s decision in regards to the issuance of the permit.
The resolution opposed the issuance of the permit for several reasons including that the “process does not ensure the protection of drinking water now and into the future.” It also listed the “proposed bond of $250,801.22 for plugging and abandonment” as “wholly inadequate.”
Officials requested both in the resolution and during the recent hearing that the EPA require a higher bonded amount ($5 million) of the applicant, Energex, to help offset the cost of any potential contamination to local water wells.
Although the injection site would be located on private property, it would be in close proximity to township-owned and residential areas, which township officials worry could put local water wells at risk.
If approved, the company would be permitted to inject a gas mixture, containing carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) as components, into underground rock formations through a currently existing production well, known as the Lanphar 1-12 Well, in a process known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
According to the EPA’s draft permit, the Chemical composition analysis of the injection “shall include, but not be limited to, the following: Hydrogen Sulfide, Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Ethane, Propane, Iso-butane, N-butane, Isopentane, N-pentane, Hexanes, Heptanes plus, Specific Gravity and Temperature.”
Martin Frisbie, a Leonard resident, spoke on behalf of the Facebook group “Addison Township Residents for Clean Air and Water” during the meeting.
Around 30 residents from the group were present at the meeting last Monday.
“(Our group) has designated one day per month to meet so we can keep each other informed about what’s going on,” said Frisbie. “We’re pretty upset by it and we just don’t feel like, from what we’ve heard from the EPA (at the hearing) or what we’ve heard (about) Energex… that our air or water is going to be safe in the near future if we’re relying on these people to make these kinds of decisions.”
Pearson told those at the meeting that the township has been in opposition to the Lanphar 1-12 wells throughout the length of Energex’s drilling and oil recovery process and that he has regularly attended EPA hearings to speak in opposition of the wells since 2013.
He also added that township officials cannot regulate or control the drilling or the operation of oil/gas wells by state law.
One audience member asked township officials to focus their efforts on “getting the word out to township residents” about the proposed injection well.
“If this is how you actually feel, why hasn’t the word gotten out to the community? Why isn’t there a big bulletin board out here? Why haven’t there been flyers? Why haven’t you done something to let people know because we’re all on wells,” the woman from Leonard asked officials.
Pearson responded that there have been several articles in the newspaper regarding the proposed injection well, along with a public notice published about the EPA’s hearing.
“Our best avenue right now is through our state (representative) and our state senator,” Pearson added. “By putting this resolution forward (and) with the (number) of people that were at the hearing in Oxford, we’re hoping to get the attention of (the EPA and the Department of Environmental Quality). With the resolution, we’ll go through our (state and federal) representatives. We’re working with our lawyer and we’re spending money on this. It’s an uphill battle.”