Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tracking Oil and Gas Wells

Resources and Links (Shared by Pam Taylor)
To track the wells:
To see the wells in Lenawee County, use the MIDEQ map below. This map is updated monthly.  First, use this map to find the well number. You might want to magnify the map to 200% or so, using the control at the top to make it easier to see the numbers and to read the key. The key on the right explains everything. This map is updated monthly, and it’s a pretty quick way to see the most current status. Class II brine disposal injection wells have a blue triangle around their circle. (These are the ones that may be associated with earthquakes, according to a recent USGS Report.) You don't necessarily need to have "fracked" wells (although some would say that all wells are "fracked" to some extent) in order to use injection to dispose of the waste fluids. Often Class II brine disposal wells are located at tank farms.

Once you know the number, you can look up more data here. (You might have to adjust your Java settings; this might work easier with Google Chrome than Internet Explorer, if you have a choice of browsers.)

Click on "Well Data Search", then "Well Information", then all you have to do is type in the well number that you took from your map. If nothing comes up when you type in a number, it probably means that the driller has requested confidentiality and that it won't be listed until the confidentiality period has expired. You can still see the location of the wells on the map (above link), which is the reason for the suggestion to use the map first. This database isn't as current.

Current Class II brine disposal injection wells are on Knight Hwy. in Adrian Township and along U. S. 223 in Palmyra Twp.; a new one just was permitted on Shepherd Rd. also in Adrian Twp. These are the type of wells that, according to the USGS, have not been ruled out as contributory factors in earthquakes in Ohio and the Midwest.  Waste, including fracking fluid and/or flowback, from the drilling process, and from processing the extracted oil, is pressure-injected deep into the earth.  These wells are:

  • Savoy Energy, McMunn Farms, Palmyra Township, No. 60531 (This well is between U. S. 223 and Carleton Rd., just south of where Humphrey Hwy. dead ends on U. S. 223.)

  • Savoy Energy, 60152, Ruesink, Adrian Township, No. 60152 (This well is on Knight Hwy., between Emery and Moore Rds.)

  • The third well is EPA permit request MI-091-2D-0003, Goetz property off of Shepherd Rd., Adrian Twp., dated June 27, 2012.  Well No. unknown at this point.  This injection well is in the oil field off Shepherd Rd. (just look for the 24/7 flare), about three miles north of Adrian.

To get information about Class II underground injection wells planned:

EPA well permit public notice and comment period information:

EPA contact number to get on the Class II injection well notification list so you can request a public hearing (they won't hold a public hearing unless a member of the public requests one, and you won't know that an injection well is planned unless you're on the list): Call the Region 5 EPA Office at 800-621-8431, press "0" at the prompt, the operator will put you through to someone who will put you on the list. Public hearings are important for media attention, and to inform the public and politicians so they can make appropriate decisions, more than they are effective in getting these things stopped.

To find updated permits:

You can find the weekly permit applications/permits issued/dispositions for all wells (not just injection wells) at the link below. Not as quick as the first two links, but once you start checking them, it's pretty easy to keep up to date.,4561,7-135-3311_4111_4231-121842--,00.html

To see where fracked wells in the area are located:

Map of fracked wells in the vicinity (North Adams and Wheatland Twps. in Hillsdale County)

List of these fracked wells:

Putting it all together:

In some parts of Lenawee County, these wells are located in the same places where CAFOs impact the environment.  The overlap with the CAFO areas all starts with the county drain system and the waterways. If spills/leaks occur, this will first become apparent. Many of these wells run right on top of county drains (some of which are underground), and the pipelines are laid along the banks of ditches and streams.  For instance, the wells on Tipton Hwy. that are just across Hunt Rd. from the Adrian Township hall are on top of the Turner Drain.

Here is the Lenawee County Drain map. Click on the township, then magnify. Natural waterways, i.e., Wolf Creek, the River Raisin, Lake Adrian, do not appear on this map unless they are part of the maintained drain system, so you will have to overlay these with watershed maps to see the big picture.
Leases extend all the way to the state line, running on a southeast diagonal from Napoleon in Jackson County through Riga Township at the opposite corner of the County.

Resources for help in water monitoring/testing programs, and help setting up a group:

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

It is up to the states to regulate and monitor these wastes.  This page also has an excellent link about testing near sites,  Click on “How We Test Water Around Fracking Sites”

Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Southeast Michigan (ECCSCM) – similar issue; different content

CAFO = Confined Animal Feeding Operation.  Permits administered by the MIDEQ, under the U. S. EPA and the Clean Water Act.  All CAFOs, and all operations that have had a discharge to the waters of the state that caused those waters to not meet water quality standards, must have an NPDES permit to discharge, along with a CNMP (comprehensive nutrient management plan.

Manure scale:  1 cow = 20 people.  We have around 20,000 cows located in this area.  That’s equivalent to the untreated waste of 400,000 people.  For instance, a single, local, CAFO with a permit allowance of 2,500 cows would produce manure equivalent to the waste of about 50,000 people.  As of 2010, Lenawee County had about 99,000 people.

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