Update on the Saltwater Injection Well Permit Applications in Douglas County

Whew! Well, what an exciting last couple of weeks it’s been! If you’ve been out of town, here’s what’s been going on.

Applications for permits to authorize saltwater injection wells on the Hadl and Thrasher leases in Douglas County were published in the Lawrence Journal-World on October 9, 2017. If you missed that, you’re not the only one! The application was only published once under Public Notices, in the Sports Section, Section C, pages 5 and 6 of the print copy. If you tried to find the Public Notices on-line after October 9th, you would have been out of luck, they are only “live” for the date of publication. (You can find the original publications here if you’re interested: https://newzgroup.com/KSLegals/32426-10-09_1001.pdf and https://newzgroup.com/KSLegals/32426-10-09_1002.pdf.) The original Public Notice allowed 15 days to file any objections or protests with the Conservation Division of the Kansas Corporation Commission. Cindy Hoedel from the Flint Hills suggested that in addition to writing the KCC we could contact our county and city commissioners, urging them to file protests as well. Although county officials do not have an official say, it could make a difference if they write letters within the protest time frame so that they get on the record. City Commissioners were made aware of the applications during their October 10th meeting and County Commissioners during their’s on October 11th. Thank you to everyone who contacted our city and county commissioners! Here’s a link to Celia Llopis-Jepsen’s story for KCUR that has a link to the joint city/county letter:http://kcur.org/…/officials-douglas-county-seek-changes-kan…
mc_cid=606c9ddf31&mc_eid=c8999ed0a7#stream/0. Llopis-Jepsen also reported that a KCC spokeswoman said the drilling company’s notice was incorrect, because the legal public comment period should be 30 days and that they would need to redo the public notification process. The corrected Public Notice appeared in the Lawrence-Journal World on October 26, 2017. If you haven’t recycled your print copy yet, it’s on page 5C. Since they are not on-line link, I’m including the wording of the corrected notices below.

So, now what?

First of all, if you already sent a letter of protest or objection during the original thirty (30) days comment period, Linda Berry from the KCC says it will be considered and you don’t have to send another one. If you haven’t send a letter yet, 30 days gives you until November 25, 2017. That’s Thanksgiving Saturday, so we have until Monday? I’ve called the KCC’s Public Affairs office about this and I will let you know what they say when they get back to me. Anyone who’s sent a letter should get some sort of correspondence back from the KCC asking whether you want to request a hearing and you must reply to that.

Sending letters

If you’ve gone to the KCC website and been confused, join the club! If you’ve tried to file your protest letter on-line and been stymied, join the club! Here’s what we’ve figured out so far: to file on-line you need a docket number and the KCC does not assign docket numbers until they grant a hearing. So the protest letters need to be sent via snail mail. Please keep this in mind. The letters also can not be just postmarked by the deadline, the KCC has to have them “in hand” by the deadline. They do accept hand-delivered letters. (I took mine to the Topeka Office.) The rules that you have to file in triplicate and also send a copy to the drilling company no longer seem to apply. Here’s the address: Rene Stucky, Kansas Corporation Commission, Conservation Division, 266 North Main Street, Suite. 220, Wichita, KS 67202-1513.

What to say

It’s up to you, of course, but here is suggested wording from Joe Spease (Kansas Sierra Club Committee on Fracking):

“To the Commissioners of the Kansas Corporation Commission:
The use of injection wells in Kansas has resulted in devastating destruction to homes, property, roads, bridges, and public buildings. Earthquakes caused by use of injection wells near fault lines, and infrastructure damage caused by heavy truck traffic, bring unwanted and substantial damages. Many millions of dollars of damage to people’s property has gone uncompensated to citizens in Kansas because oil and gas companies are not held responsible for the damage they cause through the use of injection wells. Now Midstates Energy has applied for a permit to use injection wells for disposal of drilling wastes with the Hadl and Thrasher Leases in Douglas County, both are near the Worden Fault Line. We oppose this permit application and want you to disapprove of it because of the serious damage that would result from it.
It is completely unacceptable for oil and gas companies to continue to receive approval from the KCC for injection well use when not one oil and gas company has been held accountable for the earthquake damages they have caused. It would be irresponsible for the KCC to approve this permit until safeguards are in place that protect the citizens of Kansas from the known damages from these injection wells.
I urge you to reject this permit and help protect the citizens of Kansas.”

(Please modify this and use your own wording to avoid obvious copying of the same comments.)

Location

Here’s a link to the county map: https://www.douglascountyks.org/…/vot…/pdf/townships-map.pdf. Sections 25 and 36 southwest of Eudora (in pink).

Worden Fault Line
Here’s a map from the Kansas Geological Survey website:http://www.kgs.ku.edu/…/def/dg/…/M26_DouglasGeology_1992.pdf
If you go to the bottom right hand side a “+” and a “-“ will appear to make the map larger or smaller. Just west of Baldwin City there is a dotted line which is a solid line for a while before it forks off into two dotted lines again. This is the so-called Worden Fault Line named for the small community near there. As long as there are any potential fault lines nearby there is a potential for quakes. Plus, there are numerous other faults which could be affected.

Midstates Energy Operating
Midstates Energy Operating filed in Florida on August 23, 2017:https://www.corporationwiki.com/…/midstates-energy-operatin…They filed in Kansas on September 18, 2017:https://www.accesskansas.org/bess/flow/main?execution=e1s5

Public Notices from the Lawrence Journal-World:
(Published in the Lawrence Daily Journal-World on the 26th day of October 2017)

BEFORE THE STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF KANSAS

NOTICE OF FILING APPLICATION

RE: Midstates Energy Operating, LLC, Application for a permit to authorize the injection of saltwater into the Thrasher Lease located in Douglas County, Kansas.

TO: All Oil and Gas Producers, Unleased Mineral Interest Owners, Landowners, and all persons whomever concerned.

You, and each of you, are hereby notified that Midstates Energy Operating, LLC has filed an application to commence the injection of salt water into the Squirrel formation at the Thrasher Lease 10 330 FSL 3170 FEL; located in the Sec. 25, Twp. 13, R 20E, Douglas County, Kansas, with a maximum operating pressure of 400 psig, and a maximum injection rate of 100 bbls per day.

Any persons who object to or protest this application shall be required to file their objections or protest with the Conservation Division of the State Corporation Commission of the State of Kansas within thirty (30) days from the date of this publication. These protests shall be filed pursuant to Commission regulations and must state specific reasons why the grant of the application may cause waste, violate correlative rights or pollute the natural resources of the State of Kansas.

All persons interested or concerned shall take notice of the foregoing and shall govern themselves accordingly.

Midstates Energy Operating, LLC
5571 Halifax Ave
Ft Myers, FL 33912

_______

(Published in the Lawrence Daily Journal-World on the 26th day of October 2017)

BEFORE THE STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF KANSAS

NOTICE OF FILING APPLICATION

RE: Midstates Energy Operating, LLC, Application for a permit to authorize the injection of saltwater into the Hadl Lease located in Douglas County, Kansas.

TO: All Oil and Gas Producers, Unleased Mineral Interest Owners, Landowners, and all persons whomever concerned.

You, and each of you, are hereby notified that Midstates Energy Operating, LLC has filed an application to commence the injection of salt water into the Squirrel formation at the Hadl Lease I-1 4750 FSL 4590 FEL I-2 4290 FSL 4590 FEL; located in the Sec. 36, Twp. 13, R 20E, Douglas County, Kansas, with a maximum operating pressure of 600 psig, and a maximum injection rate of 100 bbls per day.

Any persons who object to or protest this application shall be required to file their objections or protest with the Conservation Division of the State Corporation Commission of the State of Kansas within fifteen (15) days from the date of this publication. These protests shall be filed pursuant to Commission regulations and must state specific reasons why the grant of the application may cause waste, violate correlative rights or pollute the natural resources of the State of Kansas.

All persons interested or concerned shall take notice of the foregoing and shall govern themselves accordingly.

Midstates Energy Operating, LLC
5571 Halifax Ave
Ft Myers, FL 33912

Media Coverage
KCUR: http://kcur.org/…/officials-douglas-county-seek-changes-kan…

Lawrence Journal-World: http://www2.ljworld.com/…/lawrence-and-douglas-county-offi…/

The Topeka Capital-Journal: https://www.usnews.com/…/city-county-officials-worried-abou…

US News & World Report: https://www.usnews.com/…/city-county-officials-worried-abou…

OK Energy Today: http://okenergytoday.com/…/kansas-fear-increase-quakes-due…/

Editorial Lawrence Journal-World: http://www2.ljworld.com/…/editorial-questioning-injection-…/

 

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