Residents near Brookfield injection well sites worry about safety

BROOKFIELD TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – A small crowd of people gathered Thursday evening on the green in Brookfield to protest injection wells planned for the township.

Outwardly, the 30 people who showed up were quiet. Their protest of two planned injection wells was peaceful but inwardly, they were mad and wanted to voice their frustrations.

“I think it’s wrong that Pennsylvania will bring all this stuff over here and dump it over here,” Bob Miller said.

They’re concerned about earthquakes, well water, land values, and the aesthetics of what is very much a rural community.

“It is so ridiculous,” Tom Wike said.

Wike lives adjacent to where the injection wells will go — land that’s been in his family since the 1930s.

“I’m a couple hundred yards away from where they want to put these wells. I don’t want them. I’m concerned about my safety and my family’s safety,” he said.

The plan is to put the injection wells on land west of Route 7 and south of old 82 in the vicinity of the Wyngate Manor Mobile Home Park, where Sherry Smith lives.

“Why put that right next to all of our homes with elderly people and children? It can cause earthquakes and ruin the water,” she said.

Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources has approved the permits for the injection wells, which will be built and operated by the Pittsburgh-based Highland Field Services. Fracking waste will be put into the wells.

“No one knows what’s in the chemicals and what they’re going to do. I refer to it as ‘liquid asbestos,'” Dan Bottar said.

ODNR must still approve the operating permits for the wells, so residents are still hoping Highland Field Services can be stopped.

“I’m going to give it a good try, I don’t know. They’ve got more money than I do but we’re going to give it what we have,” Jim Hennessy said.

“We’re just local people here. I don’t know what kind of pull we’re going to have, this is just a small group here but it’s not right. It’s not right,” Miller said.

Highland Field Services must still submit its construction plans, do some testing, and build the wells before ODNR will allow them to be operated.