Ohio’s Shale Gas Waste Disposal Network Map Now Online

By Ted Auch, Ohio Program Coordinator, FracTracker Alliance

A complete inventory of Ohio’s Active Class II Injection Wells, as well as Ohio Department of Natural Resources certified Underground Injection Control (UIC) certified transporters, is now available in map form on FracTracker.org (See embedded map below). There is an interest in mapping Ohio’s waste facility network for many reasons; in addition to concerns regarding the spreading of waste on roads, problems with Class II Injection Wells in Youngstown are forcing the state to turn to secondary disposal options.

Shale Gas Waste Disposal Network

To view the map’s full set of controls, including legend, please click on the “fullscreen” button on the map.

Map Layers

In addition to the Class II waste injection wells, the map includes Ohio disposal wells designated for Enhanced Oil Recovery (129), Annular Disposal (82), Salt Water Disposal (221), Temporarily Abandoned Annular Disposal (1,987), and Class II Salt Mining (57).

Active Class II’s have quarter-mile buffering increments from 0.10 to 1.5 miles.On average, Ohio’s active Class II wells are 4,434±2,032 feet deep, with a maximum depth of 13,727 feet. There is a total of 793,734 linear feet worth of active Class II wells throughout the state. Utilizing capacity estimates from current Class II fracking waste well permits in Portage County, Ohio, the state’s active Class II’s are capable of accepting 34.6-97.2 million gallons of fracking waste. However, if we include the state’s aforementioned Class II’s that are not currently being utilized for fracking waste disposal, this capacity estimate jumps to 510.9-1,437.4 million gallons of fracking waste. Such volumes would profoundly affect surface water volumes and flows (i.e., headwater streams and vernal pools), aquifer and sub-surface water chemistry, and the types of issues facing California. [1]

At the present time Ohio’s Utica wells are utilizing 4.2-4.5 million gallons of water and 206,837-261,907 gallons of brine per well with an average of 1.96 barrels of brine produced per barrel of oil. To date Ohio’s 213 reported producing wells have utilized 949 million gallons of water and 681,789 gallons of brine. If the state’s remaining 481 permitted Utica wells produce and utilize water at a similar rate The Utica Play would utilize approximately 3.03 billion gallons of water and produce 113 million gallons of brine all of which would require additional Ohio Class II Injection Well capacity requiring the state to repurpose the existing stock to handle this sizeable increase in fracking fluids, drill cuttings and muds, and related oilfield fluids. Thus, FracTracker felt the need to begin to map the state’s non-shale gas Class II Injection Wells.

The map also shows the locations of current natural gas compressor stations and underground storage tanks, along with the state’s hazardous waste and orphaned landfills. These sites were included in response to the Ohio EPA’s recent advisory suggesting waste landfill facilities begin accepting drill cuttings, drilling muds and frac sands, and related oilfield fluids [1,2].

We also present Ohio’s network of Bulk Transporters, which are charged with transporting related materials.


This is an original map from The FracTracker Alliance and was constructed with the assistance of Ohio State University graduate student, Caleb Gallemore, and a selection of students from his GIS Class “Elements of Cartography: Serving the Community through cartography.” It was made possible by information from Bulk Transporter Magazine. [3]


[1]  Staff. (2013, May 14). Will Ohio’s Landfills Become a Dumping Ground for Radioactive Fracking Waste? EcoWatch. Read>

[2] See our recent post: Ohio’s Waste Not, Want Not!

[3] Who in their words “is the information source for liquid and dry bulk logistics industry. Written for bulk shippers, transporters, and storage operators, BT is dedicated to providing the latest information on regulations, technological developments, logistics management, and hazardous materials safety. For over 65 years, BT has been a trusted source of information for the bulk logistics industry.”

11 replies
  1. Chuck
    Chuck says:

    Why does Ohio accept brine from neighboring states such as Pennsylvania which DER will not approve brine disposal in the state.
    My thoughts, if a property has a deep well where brine is generated by franking, then the same property must drill a brine injection well on the same property to dispose of the waste generated from their gain.
    It’s upsetting that ohio is becoming the wasteland for the disposal of these waste. The owners of the wells have little risks while ohio is subjecting its constituents to these toxic waste.

    • Ted Auch
      Ted Auch says:

      Ohio is unique in that our legislators has gone all in on fracking waste injection, landfill disposal of drilling muds, and the production of hydrocarbons via hydraulic fracturing. Your thoughts about injecting waste on site sound decent but all properties are linked by aquifers and often sit within the same watersheds. Namely Ohio’s Muskingum River Watershed
      Another thing to consider is the recent interest of Ohio’s DNR, EPA, and Dept of Health in the disposal of fracking waste in our many landfills, both from within Ohio and from the same neighboring states that are sending injection waste our way.

    • Ted
      Ted says:

      Great question by Gwen. The answer is that I wanted to include a simple measure of proximity for the state’s “Active” Class IIs so instead of requiring anyone to use the measuring tool I am included buffer rings around each well with each line corresponding to the following mileage distances:
      FID distance (Miles)
      0 0.1
      1 0.25
      2 0.5
      3 0.75
      4 1
      5 1.5

    • Sam Malone, MPH, CPH
      Sam Malone, MPH, CPH says:

      Hi Jennifer. Sorry for the confusion. To see the legend and a complete set of map controls, just click the “fullscreen” button on the map. The legend and other tools will be in the right-hand toolbar. We’re working on some options for helping make this more clear.

  2. Karen Schaefer
    Karen Schaefer says:

    I’ll second what Sandra said. And I’ll include a link to this information in my upcoming public radio story on fracking water usage.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] wells. They’re wells that go into formations underground. According to this article (https://www.fractracker.org/2013/06/oh-waste-network/), Ohio’s Class II capacity could accept up to 1.4 billion gallons of frack wastewater if it […]

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