COITSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – An electrician and an inspector from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources were on the scene of a Bobcat Energy injection well in Coitsville Monday morning, where some viewers in the area raised concerns over the weekend.
On Sunday, we received cell phone video from a neighbor that showed fluid coming out of two of the tanks. The one behind the facility can be seen spraying liquid over a containment wall.
According to a spokesperson, a valve on this tank froze and broke. At about the same time, he said an electrical malfunction on the other taller tank allowed it to overflow.
The spokesperson said the facility drainage system worked as it was designed to and none of the fluid, which he called brine from oil and gas drilling, escaped into the environment.
Still, the incident is not sitting well with at least one local township trustee.
“They should have notified the fire department or police department and let them know, ‘Hey, we had a little bit,'” said Coitsville Township Trustee Bob Lisko.
Local authorities said they never learned about the problem until Sunday night, long after it happened. One local Hazmat expert worries firefighters would have trouble responding to a well like this if a spill had actually occurred.
“We don’t know what it is. It’s a mixture of God only knows what they’ve used to frack these wells. They’re not really forthcoming with that information at the well sites when there is incidents,” said Battalion Chief Sil Caggiano.
Although the well was installed in 2011, it didn’t receive its state permits to dispose of waste until late last year. It now takes in about eight truckloads each day.
Officials with ODNR have ordered Bobcat to stop disposing of waste until the tank problems are fixed.