Does Ohio Have Proper Regulations in Place for the Energy Boom?

As the Utica and Marcellus Shale have been targeted for drilling across several states, many have experienced tremendous conflicts over how to best regulate the activity.  How about in Ohio?

Leaders feel that the regulations they have in place put Ohio ahead of other states that have opened up their borders to drilling companies.  While not everyone agrees, the arguments that are made by various government agencies and state representatives give reason for confidence in the state's ability to regulate the drilling.  More after the jump...

An article in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel outlines some of the steps Ohio has already taken to be prepared for the shale boom.  While Ohio residents may have split viewpoints of the state's readiness, representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and from the Ohio Senate clearly trust the state to oversee the drilling responsibly.

From the article:

Passed in 2010, Ohio's Senate Bill 165 lays out guidelines for the locations of wells, tank batteries and other surface facilities; the application process for drilling a well; various fees associated with drilling production wells and injection disposal wells; and more.
Under regulations established that year, companies drilling in Ohio are required to notify ODNR's Division of Mineral Resources Management at three points in the process: well construction, to ensure the casing is properly placed according to the permit; well control, the testing of blow-out prevention devices; and fluid control, to monitor the company's handling of the fluid. According to the ODNR website, "division inspectors place a high priority on witnessing these critical phases.
Leaders have also been open to reviewing their rules and regulations side-by-side with those of other states to make sure that there is no need to strengthen them.  At the same time, they recognize the need to be careful about making too many changes, which could discourage development.  "It's hard to hit a moving target," State Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta, says.

Will the Division of Mineral Resource Management be able to keep up as drilling activity continues to take off?  Funding and staffing is tied to the production of the oil and gas industry, so as the activity increases the workforce will increase as well.  Carlo LoParo, spokesman for the DNR, says "We're going to triple the number of regulators that we have in the field this year."

Check out the article for further details on how Ohio will regulate the oil and gas industry.  Are you confident that the regulations in place are adequate, or does the state need to tighten things up?  Share your opinions here or on the message boards.

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