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Environment & Energy

A Quake Related Disposal Well Near Youngstown May Be Gone For Good

Ohio Geologic Survey
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Seismic reading December 31, 2011

The injection well blamed for setting off a 4.0 earthquake near Youngstown at the end of 2011 may be permanently sealed and abandoned. 

Inspector looks at old well before closing
Credit Ohio EPA / Ohio.gov
Pre-closing inspection of an old well

D&L Energy of Youngstown’s North Star No. 1 disposal well was drilled into rock unsuited for high-pressure liquids containment. And after a series of small tremors came the significant quake.

The well was shut down on the order of Ohio’s Department of Natural Resource. D&L went out of busines, and North Star 1 has been idle since. 

Now the current owner of the property is applying for a permit to plug it. Steve Irwin is a spokesman for ODNR.

"The permit to plug the well would be good for two years. The operator would notify our local county inspector when that work was about to begin. And so we would notify the inspector and we would witness the plug stages of the well.” 

Irwin says ODNR is reviewing the permit request now and will make a decision in a few weeks.