Austintown company proposes oil wells on MVSD property

MINERAL RIDGE — Mahoning Valley Sanitary District board members said today they would only consider a proposal to place 25 natural gas wells on MVSD property if there was a minimal risk of accidents.

Representatives from Ohio Valley Energy in Austintown said drilling the wells could earn the district $4.6 million in royalties, free gas and reduced gas prices during the first six years of operation.

However, some board members expressed reservations about the project, fearing that an accident could leak gas or oil into the Meander Reservoir.

“This is the water supply for 330,000 people,” said Board Member Matthew Blair, who represents the city of Niles. “I’m not willing to approve wells if there’s only a 1 percent risk. If there’s an accident, there’s no place for people to get water. That’s not a risk I’m willing to take.”

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