PENFIELD – It’s a new year, but a decision still hasn’t been made on an application from Sammy-Mar, LLC to drill a new disposal injection well in Huston Township.
And it’s not known when that might occur.
When asked for comment Wednesday, Neil Shader, press secretary for the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Office of Communications, said that the application is still being looked at.
“The permit application is still under technical review at this time (by DEP),” he said, in an email. “There is no timetable for completion of that review.”
Last June, a public hearing was held on Sammy-Mar’s application.
It lasted 55 minutes, and featured a variety of testimony.
There were supporters of the proposal, as well as opponents, who were concerned about everything from the possibility of earthquakes to pollution.
Part of the DEP permit review process, the hearing was held at the Penfield Grange Hall by DEP, drawing 38 people and several speakers.
DEP states that a disposal injection well is for the disposal of fluids produced along with oil or gas.
According to a DEP fact sheet, the Povlik #1 Class II-D Underground Injection Control permit was issued on March 16, 2016 by the U.S. EPA, and on May 10, 2016, the operator of the well, Sammy-Mar, LLC, submitted an application to drill a well to DEP.
DEP noted that the EPA granted Sammy-Mar, LLC a permit to inject waste water into the well, pending DEP approval of the drilling application.
DEP noted that EPA’s permits govern the material that is injected into the well, well integrity, groundwater protection and closure requirements while DEP’s permits cover the location and construction of the well bore, surface issues, and an examination of the potential for pollution resulting from underground disposal.
According to DEP, a DEP geologist examines the drilling application, as part of the DEP review process, and the geologist also does a logical assessment of the well, using information from the EPA application.
In addition, a DEP water quality specialist reviews the erosion and sedimentation plan, which outlines how runoff form the site will be prevented, the DEP fact sheet states.
Also, the Control and Disposal Plan, which describes pollution prevention measures, waste disposal methods, pollution incident response and an implementation schedule for these items, is reviewed.
“Using information from the EPA application, a DEP oil and gas inspector conducts a mechanical integrity review to ensure compliance with DEP well construction and operating requirements,” the fact sheet notes. “At the conclusion of the public comment period, DEP will review all questions and comments received and issue a comment and response document, which will serve as DEP’s response to comments submitted during the comment period.”
The comment period closed July 5, 2016.
On Wednesday the township office had no information regarding the application.