Michigan imposes special permit conditions for wells that are to be hydraulically fractured (2010)

Surface Casing Rules/Special Permit Conditions 181, 516 and 12, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources and Environment, Office of Geological Survey (Groundwork updated October 2010). Michigan's first line of defense in protecting groundwater is adequate surface casing.  This protects fresh water zones from contamination by migrating gas or fluids.  Our general rules require surface casing to be set (1) at least 100 feet below the base of the glacial deposits, (2) into competent bedrock, and (3) at least 100 feet below all fresh water strata.  Surface casing must be sealed by circulating cement to the ground surface.   In addition, Michigan imposes special permit conditions on wells that are to be hydraulically fractured.


Permit condition 181 – potential large water withdrawals. 


If the on-site water supply will produce over 100,000 gallons of water per day averaged over 30-day period, the permittee shall:


A. If there is a water supply well within 1320 feet, install a monitor well between the water withdrawal well and the nearest water supply well; monitor the water level until the water level stabilizes; and report weekly.


B. Evaluate potential impacts utilizing the same water withdrawal assessment modeling tool as is required for other water withdrawals of the same magnitude.  If the tool indicates a potential adverse impact on surface or groundwater, the permittee cannot proceed with the withdrawal without specific approval. 


Permit condition 516 – potential Antrim Shale fracturing.  [This condition is applied in cases where staff determine the Antrim Formation may lie directly beneath the glacial drift aquifer.]


Production casing must be set not less than 50 feet below the base of the surface casing and shall be cemented to surface.  Fracturing is restricted to at least 50 feet below the base of the surface casing.   


Permit condition 12 – for shallow scour completions.  [This condition is applied in cases where staff determine the Antrim Formation may be partially eroded away (i.e., “scoured”) in the vicinity of the proposed well.]


The permittee must monitor and report produced water volumes and quality and gas production rates.  Water quality sampling must be performed within 60 days of well completion and thereafter on a semi-annual basis.  If the total dissolved solid (TDS) concentration in the produced water is less than 1,000 mg/L, sampling frequency is increased to every 60 days; if TDS is less than 1,000 mg/L for three consecutive sampling periods, the well shall be shut-in and may have to be plugged.


Download the applicable permit conditions and surface casing rules below.

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MI_Permit conditions RE Hyd Frac_10-2010.pdf11.43 KB
MI_Rules Excerpt_10-2010.pdf12.25 KB