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Dispatch: Drilling Fluid Leak in Morgan County Well Site Led to Evacuations
Posted on: 05/08/2014
By  Mike Cullums
 
Our news partners at ONN and The Columbus Dispatch are reporting today that a gas well being drilled in southeastern Morgan County began leaking drilling fluid last weekend, contaminating a nearby creek and leading to the evacuation of three nearby homes.  
 
It appears that no county or state agency notified the general public or the news media for several days, until the Dispatch started asking questions.  

Officials said the leak was discovered on Sunday as about ten gallons per minute of oily drilling fluid gushed from the well site. A total of seven people in three homes were evacuated due to the threat of an explosion from escaping natural gas.
 
The well, owned by PDC Energy, is located in the southeast corner of Morgan County, less than a mile from the Muskingum River and about one mile from the Washington County line.

The Ohio EPA told the Dispatch some of the drilling fluid made it into a nearby unnamed creek but apparently not into the Muskingum.

OEPA says the fluid was made up mostly of a synthetic oil blend and was not "fracking fluid," which contains small amounts of hazardous chemicals, because drilling had not reached the point where hydraulic fracturing had been initiated.

Cleanup crews were still at the site near Center Bend Road off State Route 60 yesterday.
 
Officials are referring people with questions and concerns about last weekend's spill to call the Ohio EPA in Columbus at 614-644-2160.
 
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