Kasich also issued an executive order this summer giving Simmers authority to order preliminary tests at proposed well sites, to prevent drilling where tests fail, and to restrict injection pressure. The state also can order installation of automatic shut-off valves and monitor for leakage.
Simmers said the EPA turned well oversight over to Ohio years ago because the state's regulations surpass those of the federal government.
The first round of new wells permitted Tuesday included one in Athens County's Troy Township, one in Portage County's Deerfield Township and two in Washington County's Newport Township. One of the Washington County wells was previously operated as an oil and gas production well.