The owners of the injection wells near Bear Lake in Columbus Township have submitted a request to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to relocate existing water tanks and increase capacity at the injection well site.
The DEP is currently reviewing the application before opening a 60-day public comment period, the agency acknowledged.
The application is for a waste transfer facility permit for Bear Lake Properties to relocate existing water tanks and pumps 1,500 feet from the permitted disposal well site currently on the neighboring property onto company-owned property.
"In addition, Bear Lake Properties desires to modestly expand its water handling capacity and pump water from this central location into its multiple permitted disposal wells. This central location requires a waste transfer facility permit from PA DEP. This permit will eliminate the need for duplicate facilities and surface disturbance at each well site," according to a public notice published in the Times Observer.
Bear Lake Properties President Karl Kimmich said the permit is required by DEP to dispose of waste water into multiple wells from a single spot on the company's property.
"If we wish to dispose of water into multiple permitted wells, from a single well pad via pipeline, we are required to obtain the aforementioned permit...," Kimmich said. "We wish to move our existing facilities off of our neighbor's property onto our own property. In addition, this will relieve the need to duplicate facilities and surface impacts at multiple well sites."
The permits will allow increased storage capacity at the site to a total of 3,000 barrels, though Kimmich said traffic at the site has not been real steady since the oil and gas industry has been recycling water used in hydraulic fracturing.
"I just don't see the demand there for anything much larger than that," he said. "That doesn't mean we'll ever get to that point."
Kimmich said plans include six 500-barrel tanks placed within a 75-foot by 75-foot secondary containment dike out of sight from the road.
"We want to emphasize that the main reason we are completing this work, with the proper permitting, is to centrally locate the tanks on one site, thus avoiding the requirement to locate separate tanks and pumps at each well," he said in an email. "Nothing will change in the truck offloading operation."