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Ohioans seek stronger oil and gas well regulation

5:52 PM, Nov 1, 2012   |    comments
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In 2004, Ohio House Bill 278 was passed.

Its repercussions linger today, some local residents and lawmakers say.

The law gave the Ohio Department of Natural Resources sole authority to permit and regulate oil and gas wells in the state. The result was a boom in urban drilling, and what some say is an insufficient system of regulation.

"It's a question of the state trading off to receive monies at the expense of the voice of the people," says Mansfield Law Director John Spon.

Spon is seeking more local control and regulation over deep injection wells that store the brine water left over from hydraulic fracturing. Several are planned to be built within Mansfield.

"We have roughly 50,000 people in our city and we believe it's ridiculous to allow a company to come in, inject hundreds of thousands of barrels of toxic fluid and not be required to disclose with sufficiency what they are depositing into our earth," he explains.

"We will be the first to pass sophisticated legislation to try to reasonably protect our citizens health, safety, welfare and drinking water."

In Broadview Heights, there is a Bill of Rights on the Nov. 6 ballot to give residents more say in drilling regulation.

"What we're trying to do is protect future generations," says Spon.


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