MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Engineer Jim Henry was to be the guest speaker for the monthly Knox Township Association meeting Tuesday evening to speak on what is being done to protect township and county roads from truck traffic that will be part of the coming shale gas and oil development. He was not able to attend, but Thomas Benko, an inspector with the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, briefed the township officials on some of the things to expect with shale development.
He showed pictures of wells in various stages of development, giving the officials some idea of the size of shale drilling operations. He also explained some of the features Ohio requires on wells to protect groundwater supplies from contamination. He also showed pictures of a well-drilling operation in Ashland County being done by the same company, Benco Energy, that is planning horizontal wells in Morgan Township on the southern edge of Knox County.
One of the messages he was clearly trying to convey was that Ohio has implemented strong standards for well safety and environmental protection for both production wells and injection wells, which are used to dispose of the natural brine often produced by wells, as well as the water used in hydraulic fracturing after it can no longer be recycled.