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Environment


Who regulates propane stored in Ohio caverns? Maybe nobody
Ohio has no rules, and the head of the Department of Natural Resources chief is checking with to see what the feds have in place
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
ODNR Director James Zehringer. HE was appointed by Governor John Kaisch
Courtesy of ODNR
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In The Region:
Energy companies are using at least five caverns in Ohio to hold propane before they truck or pipe it to consumers. And, those storage operations may be unregulated.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports.
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Propane vapors near a landfill in southern Ohio caught the attention of the state’s Department of Natural Resources last year.  Investigators looked at a nearby propane storage facility in a cavern. They found no link to the leak. They also found no applicable state regulations for the underground storage. 

This week, ODNR chief James Zehringer wrote to Washington to see if there is any federal oversight of such operations.
In an e-mail he told us: “We have reached out to the federal government to clarify what regulatory authority exists because we believe it is important for this industry to be properly regulated. If the federal government does not have in place a regulatory program, then the state of Ohio is prepared to aggressively pursue legislative language that would clarify Ohio's authority.”

Zehringer wrote to the federal Transportation Department because it regulates pipelines, trucks, trains and other methods of moving propane and hazardous fuels to market.The storage caverns currently in use in Ohio are in southern and western areas of the state. 

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