Questions to be asked of the MDEQ during the public hearing regarding the Southfield oil drilling permit application scheduled for February 17, 2016

  1. We understand that the form of enhanced oil recovery proposed by Jordarn Exploration is Acidizing, not High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (‘fracking’). Please describe in detail and diagram the process, all chemicals used, the volumes, including during transport and storage of chemicals, gas sequestering, tankers, etc.
  2. Wastewater injection wells? Could the wells in Southfield be used for wastewater/fluids from other wells operated by Jordan or their contractors? Who regulates wastewater injection wells.  Is the MDEQ is trying to take over control of wastewater injection wells AWAY FROM the EPA. Where does that stand? And, do you think it’s a good idea – especially now – to take primacy of power away from EPA on wastewater wells??
  3. When and how would baseline water testing be conducted? Who does the testing? Would they be independent? Who would have access to results? Will it be publically available? How soon prior to drilling? How often will be testing done thereafter?
  4. Where would the local production facility be located? – where they separate out the “acidizing” and other fluids from the oil?
  5. What types of gases escape from the well head as a result of the chemicals used? How do you know that all the gases are sequestered?
  6. Where would the future pipelines be located supporting the well? Would  they reinforced? Are they allowed to run through residentially zoned areas? Are they regulated by the DEQ or EPA? Is additional bonding required on pipelines?
  7. What are the bonding requirements for the well site? Who holds them? What about the contractors?
  8. When would we expect to receive an Environmental Impact Assessment?
  9. How often does the MDEQ grant orders to issue exceptions to well spacing, increase barrels/day limits, and increase in gas flaring? Has the MDEQ ever declined such an order request by an oil/gas company?
  10. Has the MDEQ ever declined an oil drilling permit??
  11. Given the current oil glut, would local storage of tankers – trucks or on rail cars be forced on the community?
  12. We are concerned about how close MDEQ is with oil and gas companies. Given the DEQ/Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals mission is…
  • to promote the most economic benefit of oil/gas and to prevent “waste” of oil/gas
  • and MDEQ/OOGM officials are oil/gas guys who also regulate oil/gas guys
    • There is concern of “regulatory capture” given that relationship.  This “regulatory capture” claim was explicitly leveled against the MDEQ at the February 3rd Congressional hearing, by Marc Edwards [professor from Virginia Tech University overseeing the safety of Flint’s drinking water] citing the “cozy relationship between MDEQ and DWSD – Detroit Water”
  1. Why should we trust the MDEQ to allow the introduction of acidizing drilling in high density residentially zoned areas?
  2. With the State looking at huge expenditures in fixing Flint’s water, DPS, crumbling roads – why should we believe that an incident here would be covered by the State?
  3. With such low oil prices, the company will see less profit. Should residents worry about cutting corners on safety when there’s less money to be made?
  4. How many oil wells have been drilled and operating in Michigan using acidization/horizontal drilling in DENSELY populated areas? Where are they located? Are they in areas zoned RESIDENTIAL? Is it HIGH DENSITY residential? Are the wells 1,000 feet or less from the homes?
More information on the proposed oil and gas drilling in Southfield including map of drilling site.