BROOKFIELD TOWNSHIP – Highland Field Services has begun storing waste water from hydraulic fracture drilling into an injection well in the township.

The injection well has been a point of contention in Brookfield, where residents have sought to prevent its use.

Rob Boulware, a spokesman for Highland, said Wednesday the company began using the well to inject waste materials from gas and oil extraction through hydraulic fracturing. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the company has secured all of the permits needed to use the injection well.

Residents of Wyngate Manor, a manufactured home park near the well site, have been the most vocal opponents to use of the injection well. The residents have held rallies in opposition to the injection well dating back more than a year.

All three of Brookfield Township’s trustees have supported residents’ efforts to keep the well from being opened. 

The drilling industry mainly uses brine water in its drilling process. But it also contains other chemicals that are part of the waste material. 

“What they’re putting in the ground is an unknown substance,’’ said Brookfield Trustee Dan Suttles, a retired firefighter. “And we don’t know where that material goes after it’s pumped into the ground.’’

Boulware said the company goes beyond state permitting requirements to ensure that injection wells are safe. 

“We constantly monitor our wells – 24 hours a day,’’ Boulware said. “We have been around for years and have developed a safe method for doing this and to minimize any impact.’’

Highland Field Services, the company operating the two injection wells, is owned by Seneca Resources Inc., an exploration and production company.

Seneca is owned by National Fuel Resources Inc., a pipeline, storage and utility company. National Fuel Resources is owned by National Fuel Gas Co., the publicly-held company listed on the New York Stock Exchange that owns Highland, Seneca and National Fuel Resources.

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