Ohio’s government watchdog is recommending changes within the agency that issues permits for oil and gas drilling in Ohio.
Ohio’s Inspector General says his office found a series of issues in the Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Oil and Gas Resource Management.
The investigation says that office failed to refund at least 47 overpayments for well applications, totaling more than $13,000.
The I.G. report says after they voiced concerns to ODNR, a state database used to track drilling permits was changed to make it look like many over-payers no longer had overpayments on their accounts.
The Inspector General says they never received a clear answer as to why.
The I.G. report also noted applications were sometimes changed without the applicant’s consent, and some applications were not processed in the time frame laid out in state law.
No criminal charges were recommended, but the report suggests ODNR create a system to track overpayment credits, and speed up the permitting process.