Beaver petition targets drilling

By Burton Speakman


Beaver Township trustees again were approached about supporting a possible home-rule provision to ban hydraulic fracturing and injection wells.

Township resident Julia Fuhrman Davis told trustees she has received 220 signatures on a petition regarding home rule, which, if passed, in theory, would provide more local oversight and the ability to ban drilling and wells.

According to Ohio law, however, the trustees do not have any ability to regulate oil and gas drilling or injection wells. In 2004, the state Legislature gave sole authority to regulate the industry to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“These residents want home rule for Beaver Township on the ballot in order to have local control. Most do not want the North Lima injection or the gas- drilling wells,” Davis said.

D&L Energy Group announced Monday it began the final phase of construction for a brine- injection well in North Lima.

Davis encouraged Beaver Township to follow the example of Niles, Weathersfield Township and Cincinnati in voting to ban injections wells.

The comments being used by environmentalists against drilling are the same ones that were used against the steel industry 40 years ago, said resident Jim Eidel, who spoke after Davis.

A number of people support the drilling because it will bring economic development to this area in a way that hasn’t been seen since the steel industry, Eidel said.

Trustee Ronald Kappler said those against drilling can “vote with their feet” if they stopped using products made through oil and gas drilling.

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