Zorn, Sheppard working to stop deep well injection in Monroe County

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn announced on Wednesday that he is drafting legislation to prevent deep well injection of brine waste products in the karst topography of Monroe County.

Karst topography is a subsurface landscape formed by soluble rock, such as limestone. These formations allow easy movement of underground fluids, including injection materials that could return to the groundwater level and contaminate drinking water sources.

“The protection of Michigan’s water is of the utmost concern, especially in areas where residents depend on wells for their drinking water,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “My bill would protect residents in karst areas throughout Monroe County and along Lake Erie and major waterways. The uncertainty of karst formations when pressure and heat is applied is concerning to me and should be to any regulatory agency.

“I will take every action possible to protect the drinking water of Summerfield Township and Monroe County.”

Current law requires both a federal and a state permit to inject brine into underground wells. Zorn’s bill will target state law to effectively rule out siting such a well in these sensitive underground settings.

Under Zorn’s legislation, deep well injection would be prohibited in Monroe County, where karst topography exists and is within 25 miles of a major body of water.

Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance, will offer concurrent legislation in the Michigan House of Representatives.

“Residents of Monroe County have spoken loud and clear about their concerns with the proposed injection well in Summerfield Township,” Sheppard said. “Senator Zorn and I will pursue all avenues to make sure all concerns are addressed and that our natural resources, such as groundwater, are safe today and for generations to come.”