Ohio EPA Fast-Tracking Shale Projects Despite Community Concerns
From The Columbus Dispatch:
The shale-gas company wanted a pollution permit in less than four months.
To help it meet that goal, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials had to do two things: avoid a public hearing and make sure the feds didn’t get involved.
After NiSource officials applied for a permit last February, they told the Ohio EPA that they needed it by June 1 so they could build a shale-gas refinery in Mahoning County by December.
They got the permit on June 5 and completed building their Hickory Bend refinery on Dec. 31.
Then-Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally lauded his staff for quickly approving that permit and at least six others last year.
“This is brand new for Ohio. This is a game-changer,” Nally said last year while touring a new plant in Columbiana County. “Obviously, everybody wanted it yesterday.”
“They just come into a community and cram these things down their throats and then wonder why people are upset,” said Patti Gorcheff, a Beaver Township resident and member of an advocacy group called Frack-Free Mahoning.