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Regional Roundup

June 6, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

House hit by overnight gunfire

STEUBENVILLE - City Police are investigating an incident in which a house in the 1300 block of Jefferson Street was struck with bullets Wednesday evening.

Officers were called to the area about shots fired. Witnesses said they saw two men run into an alley.

Shell casings were found on the ground, and bullet holes were discovered in the house, police reported.

City Council to talk about FOP negotiations

STEUBENVILLE - The City Council Finance Committee will meet in executive session at 5 p.m. today to discuss personnel and current contract negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 1 Ohio Labor Council.

Wayne Township to discuss budget

BLOOMINGDALE - Wayne Township trustees will meet in special session at 6 p.m. June 25 at the township garage on county Road 26 to discuss the budget. The regular monthly meeting will follow at 6:30 p.m.

ODNR investigating alleged brine dumping

ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered Harch Environmental Resources to cease its operations in the state after an inspector reportedly uncovered evidence it dumped brine illegally at a Belmont County farm.

The company had been contracted by Gulfport Energy Resources to dispose of the brine from its oil field operations.

According to ODNR, a field inspector reacting to an anonymous tip visited a farm on Vineyard Road near St. Clairsville on May 16 and allegedly found "standing water and what appeared to be oil based mud that had been discharged directly onto the ground." Further evidence indicated trucks had backed up to the crest of a hillside and released fluid into a private pond, the inspector reported.

Soil and water samples collected from the farm were reportedly high in chlorine and sodium, identifying the material as oil field waste, according to ODNR.

The ODNR order requires Harch to immediately cease all illegal dumping activity, begin containment and remediation efforts on the property and halt operations at its St. Clairsville storage facility. State officials said they are consulting with the Ohio Attorney General's Office concerning possible civil or criminal action against both Harch and Gulfport, noting it is Gulfport's responsibility to "monitor oil field waste from inception to injection."

Harch Environmental Superintendent of Operations Matthew Farmer said the company is cooperating with ODNR and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and has requested a hearing before ODNR's Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management to demonstrate why its permit to haul brine should not be revoked.

72 drilling permits sought in Columbiana

LISBON - Hanover Township remains Columbiana County's epicenter for new oil and gas well activity, with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently receiving a 12th drilling permit application.

The permit is being sought by Chesapeake Exploration to drill a well on the Zehentbauer farm off Lindesmith Road in Hanover Township.

This brings to 72 the number of new drilling permit applications issued in the county since mid 2010s, when the shale gas boom took off. Chesapeake remains the major player, holding 61 of the permits.

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