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Hagan’s bill seeks local control of fracking regulations

Published: Wed, November 28, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Marc Kovac



Counties, townships and other local governments would have the power to regulate the locations of oil and gas wells and enforce health and safety standards under legislation offered in the Ohio House.

State Rep. Robert Hagan of Youngstown, D-60th, offered House Bill 537 to restore local control rather than rely on statewide standards and regulations under the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The switch in state law to the latter was made about eight years ago.

“Numerous localities across the state have requested local control be restored due to the increasingly inappropriate placement of drill sites — many in highly populated areas,” Hagan told the House’s agriculture committee Tuesday. “... This legislation will provide freedom to communities, not unelected bureaucrats, to decide what is best for them and their families.”

Hagan offered sponsor testimony on the legislation Tuesday, though the bill is not expected to pass before the end of the session in a couple of weeks.

Under existing law, the ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources and Management “has sole and exclusive authority to regulate the permitting, location and spacing of oil and gas wells and production operations within Ohio,” according to an analysis by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission.

Hagan’s bill would enable local governments to adopt standards for oil and gas wells, as long as “those standards are not less restrictive” than state laws and rules.

The legislation also would require a 1,000-foot setback for new oil and gas wells and apparatus.

That would be more than triple the current requirement.


1chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

If enacted, this proposed legislation would create another layer of bureaucracy. This would slow down the oil boom in Ohio and reverse the gains in our economy.

Safety in the fracking business is in place at the state level and should preempt local regulation.

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2ytownsteelman(674 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

I'm generally for local control, but not in this case. The locals have been brainwashed into believing that gas drilling is bad, and would use this as a way to basically shut down the industry in Ohio. These fractivists would like nothing better than to see all of this new economic activity cease so we can continue to wallow around in self pity. Fortunately Hagen's bill will only make it as far as the nearest trash can.

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3Silence_Dogood(1556 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

It would be impossible for a smalltime politician to get kickback money without local control.
I can see it now,Mr. BP I might be able to help you out but I have a few reservations, maybe you could help me with that!

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4AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

""This would slow down the oil boom in Ohio""

HHMMM.... Chuck....

I felt that oil boom. as well did most of the valley.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A New Year's Eve earthquake that shook homes in Youngstown has set off political tremors across Ohio as officials scramble to reassure the public that an expected flurry of drilling in the state won't jeopardize their safety.

Columbia University seismic experts have said the injection of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oilfield waste fluids into a fault line probably caused the quake, one of a series of tremors that have rocked the Mahoning Valley.

That finding has cracked open a wider debate that goes beyond the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to its aftermath: the millions of barrels of waste fluids that are disposed of in wells thousands of feet below the ground. Last year, deep injection wells stored 11 million barrels of the fluids in Ohio.

The 11 Youngstown earthquakes since March have shined a spotlight on the 177 deep well injection sites in Ohio, which records show are now accepting more oilfield fluid waste than ever -- nearly 37,000 barrels a day. They are known as Class II injection wells, and the waste they accept is normally a brine-water mix that contains chemicals used in the oil and gas production process, some toxic

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5Silence_Dogood(1556 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

Of the 11 earthquakes in Youngstown I felt only two of them, so they could not have been that strong seeing as I live less then two miles from the epicenter. How many have we had in the last 11 months? Zero. So it would seem that the industry has corrected the problem by shutting down their operations on the west side. This was a cautionary lesson for the industry, do your homework before injecting or you will lose money when the State shuts you down. It was unfortunate that these events happened, but lessons have been learned, first and foremost by those in the industry. If you don't want to lose the overhead cost of setting up an injection site you need to do a better job of mapping the ground were you plan to inject. The other lesson is the the State needs better regulation on the control of the Companies that do the injecting making sure that they did their homework on the proposed site. Unfortunately the state has failed to carry thru with this lesson.

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