Proposed injection well comment period extended

By Chris Stevens
CMU Correspondent

Those with concerns about the proposed conversion of the Holcomb 1-22 well to an injection well for “enhanced oil recovery” fielded their questions to Coty Withorn and Amy Rivest of the Department of Environmental Quality Thursday, August 3 at the Hamilton Township Board of Trustees meeting.

The freshwater being pumped into the well at 20 gallons per minute would act to displace the oil from the well, pushing it to be pulled up by the pumpjack. Asked why brine couldn’t be used, Withorn replied it would have to be trucked in, whereas freshwater was readily available. Brine itself would have to be tested, he said. It would “salt up the well,” Rivest added.

Proposed injection well location

Proposed injection well location

The DEQ is still waiting on Muskegon Development Company to provide them with the source they intend to use to acquire the freshwater, Withorn said. This is just one aspect of the hydrogeologic evaluation to be presented to the DEQ at a hearing to decide if the plans for the injection well will go ahead.

“The well is on its way out,” Rivest said. The intent of the injection well is to retrieve what is left before plugging the well. Muskegon Development will provide what, “on its way out means,” she said.

The injection well would have to have an integrity test every year. If the aquifer is contaminated, it would “fall upon the company” to resolve. Asked what happens to the well if the company goes bankrupt, Withorn replied wells must have a quarter million bond, which the state would use to plug the well.

A new public hearing on the injection well was requested because of the errors in the notification process. A trustee explained a new hearing was requested, and the response was to extend the public comment period from July 28 to August 18.

The well is dual regulated by the DEQ and the EPA. Those interested can contact William Tong, with the U.S. EPA, Water Division (Underground Injection Control Branch) at (312) 886-9380 or by email at tong.william@epa.gov to deliver their comments.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *