The two waste water injection wells in Columbus Township have been fully permitted after the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued two change of use permits to Bear Lake Properties, the owner of the wells.
The EPA formally defines the wells as, "Underground Injection Control II-D commercial brines disposal injection wells," located at sites known as, "Bittinger #1 and Bittinger #4," off of Weeks Road near the New York State border in Bear Lake.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued final permits on Thursday, Nov. 29, following a 60-day public comment period that was opened on Sept. 4 and closed on Nov. 5.
"Obviously, that's good news for us, and it was expected," Bear Lake Properties President Karl Kimmich said. "We are probably 95 percent complete with our construction up at the site."
"We'll initiate very slowly after the first of the year and see how things can go from there," Kimmich said. "It's been, obviously, a long road and we're glad we're at the end of it. There's a need for it and we're not going to be the only ones."
The anticipated depth of Bittinger 1 is 4,431 feet and Bittinger 4 is anticipated at 4,496 feet below the surface.
According to the permits, Bear Lake Properties must notify the district oil and gas inspector, the surface landowner and the, "political subdivision of the date well drilling well begin at least 24 hours prior to commencement of drilling activities."
Bear Lake Properties will also have to comply with, "Special Permit Conditions," and submit annual monitoring information to the EPA which includes, "monthly records of major changes in characteristic or sources of injected fluids"; "reports of volumes and pressure of injection fluids"; "reports of