On October 31, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved three Class II-D Underground Injection Control permits for wells in Columbus Township, Warren County, Pennsylvania. If approved by state authorities, the three injection wells will supplement two existing wells owned by Bear Lake Properties near Pennsylvania’s border with New York State. Because the three wells were previously used for oil and natural gas production, Bear Lake Properties must obtain additional permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
USEPA Region 3 has now approved 15 UIC wells for the Commonwealth, only eight of which are currently in operation. Region 3 noted in its Response to Comments document that the potential for the new injection wells to cause induced seismicity is low given that the wells are limited to an injection volume of 30,000 barrels per month (1/5 of the injection rates of some wells in Oklahoma and Texas) and a maximum bottom hole pressure of 3,916 psi, which is low enough “to prohibit the fracturing of the injection formation.”