GREER — Concerns about threats to water supplies from fracking and oil well brine disposal dominated a community meeting at the Jefferson Township House in Greer Wednesday evening.
Twenty-four residents of the sparsely-populated township gathered to listen to Darrel Severns, director of the Knox County Regional Planning Commission, talk about issues that townships and communities could face when the development of the Utica Shale gas potential comes to Knox County. Jefferson Township will potentially be one of the prime targets for drilling to exploit the gas potential of the shale formation under Knox County, Severns noted.
Severns discussed the types of aquifers present in the township and the regulations which Ohio has in place to protect drinking water supplies from contamination by drilling operations. However, he noted he is not an expert on those issues, which are under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management.
He also addressed how the planning commission has been looking at potential development issues that could come with an economic boom associated with gas development. He said they have been looking at how issues were handled with past development surges, how some of those approaches could be used again and how some policy decisions have had unintended consequences since the booms.