UPDATE: Company, Athens Group At Odds Over Wastewater Well

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UPDATE 2/4/2014 3:25 PM

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) - A company proposing another gas-drilling wastewater well in Athens County will make its case to the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission as a group of advocates challenges the company's permit.

The commission will let K&H Partners of West Virginia participate in the proceedings.

The appeal was filed by the Athens County Fracking Action Network, which raised concerns about groundwater protection.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office wants the appeal dismissed, arguing that drilling permits can't be appealed to the commission. The commission is expected to rule on that in March.

The new wastewater injection well would be in Troy Township, where K&H already has one such well. About 150 people protested at that site on Saturday, and eight were arrested for criminal trespassing.

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There were many chants shouted loud and clear Saturday afternoon outside the gates of the K&H fracking waste storage tank on Route 50 between Torch and Coolville in Athens County.

Over 100 protesters showed up to voice their opposition of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources approving a second injection well.

"We are basically making a statement that we would like there to be more study, more checking into what's going on and stronger regulations around this whole process", said one protester.

Signs were created with messages conveying their concern over what is going into the wells. Many are simply asking for more information from O.D.N.R.

"Our community has stood up and requested and demanded a public hearing not only for this newly proposed injection well but one prior in this county. And they have not heard our concerns. They have ignored us completely", said Smiles Welch, another protester.

Among a number of residents, the wells are also opposed by the Athens County Commissioners and Athens City Council.

"We are citizens that would like to submit to the authority of the land but we have a higher moral authority that we must submit to", said Welch.

The number of protesters made a difference as number of trucks pulling in to dump off materials were forced to turn around.

O.D.N.R. was unavailable for comment Saturday evening.

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