State Regulations: Ohio
The Division of Mineral Resources Management (DMRM) in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulates oil and gas drilling, producing, plugging, and oil field waste disposal operations. General environmental protection regulations are administered by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA).
Ohio Department if Natural Resources
Division of Mineral Resources Management
1855 Fountain Square, Building H-3
Columbus, OH 43224
(614) 265-6633 (phone)
(614) 265-7999 (fax)
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, OH 43216-1049 (mailing address)
122 S. Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215 (street address)
(614) 644-3020 (phone)
Disposal Practices and Applicable Regulations
The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) contains the statutory authority for the agency regulations promulgated in the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC). Pursuant to Title 15 (Conservation of Natural Resources), Chapter 1509 (Division of Mineral Resources Management — Oil and Gas), Section 1509.22(C) of the ORC, the DMRM is authorized to adopt rules and issue orders regarding the storage and disposal of "brine and other waste substances." Regulations governing oil and gas operations have been promulgated in Title 1501:9 (Division of Mineral Resources Management), Chapter 1501:9-3 (Saltwater Operation), Rule 1501: 9-3-11 (Annular Disposal) of the OAC.
- Muds, cuttings, and other waste substances shall not be disposed of in violation of any rule (Section 1509.22(C)(2) of the ORC).
- While generally used for the disposal of brine (Section 1509.22(C)(1) of the ORC), annular disposal may be a management option for other wastes generated during drilling operations, because all pits, tanks, or sealed catchment basins contain some produced water in the liquid portion of the waste (Section 1509.22(D) of the ORC). In addition to approval, the regulations governing annular disposal of brine require cementing the surface casing, verification of cement returns, and passage of a mechanical integrity tests (Rule 1501:9-3-11 of the OAC). On average, no more than ten barrels can be disposed of daily, and pressure at the wellhead is restricted to hydrostatic.
- Subject to Division approval, some drilling wastes may be transported to another lease for land treatment or disposal in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures, if the well of origin is located in a populated or environmentally sensitive area.
- Regulations administered by the Ohio EPA govern drinking water, groundwater, surface water, solid waste management, and hazardous waste management.