Members of the public pleaded with and demanded that the Mill Creek MetroParks board of commissioners deny oil and gas drilling rights on park land during a public forum Tuesday night.
The event, at Fellows Riverside Gardens, is the first of two the MetroParks will have to gather information and gauge county residents’ response to the possibility of drilling on park land. The second forum is from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25 at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield, where the Guardians of Mill Creek Park will discuss their opposition to drilling in the park.
The meeting kicked off with an hour-long session from Rhonda Reda, executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Program. Reda explained the drilling process, as well as the extraction process — commonly known as hydraulic fracturing.
She said that “techniques have changed significantly,” and drill bits with multiple casing layers are used to protect the top layers of ground water from contamination.
“I don’t want oil and gas in my water, neither does anybody else, so we have to take care to protect [the water,]” she said. “If we truly want to be less dependents on outside energy sources, every community that consumes energy should produce it.”
About 150 county residents attended the meeting, and while some said they appreciated Reda’s presentation but need more information on drilling, most want to put the issue to bed.
For the complete story, read Wednesday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.