Kansas commission reviews wastewater well permits
Kansas’ energy-regulating agency is reviewing errors found in oil wastewater permits.
Six wastewater wells were issued permits even though their operators didn’t accurately inform nearby residents that they have a right to protest the wells, KCUR-FM reported.
Companies must publish a notice in a local newspaper to inform residents of the planned well. Residents then have 30 days to protest the well to the Kansas Corporation Commission.
Matfield Green resident Cindy Hoedel discovered the issue. Hoedel, who opposes the wells, discovered that some companies had been incorrectly stating that the protest period is 15 days.
“My next concern, obviously, is how far back does this problem go?” Hoedel said. “Were people not giving the public the proper amount of notice to protest six months ago? Eight months ago? Two years ago? Three years ago?”
The agency’s commissioners are reviewing their legal options, said Linda Berry, a commission spokeswoman.
“We’re looking back at our process to make sure we can prevent anything like that from happening in the future and to remedy anything that has happened,” Berry said.
The wells were located in Cowley, Greenwood, Linn, Miami and Sheridan counties. The commission will ask operators to restart the application process for another 11 wells because they lacked the public notification process.
Companies can dispose of hundreds or thousands of barrels of oil and gas wastewater into the wells per day.