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Friday, October 10, 2014

Beck Energy and Munroe Falls Fighting Again as City Tries to Keep Company From Cleaning Spill

The saga of Beck Energy versus Munroe Falls has been chronicled in the past on this blog.  The fight between this driller and this city has gone to the Ohio Supreme Court, where a landmark ruling on Ohio communities right to "home rule" - which would allow towns to override state law that gives the Ohio Department of Natural Resources complete authority over permitting and regulation of the oil and gas industry - is still anxiously awaited.

Now, as that fight drags on, a new dispute has arisen between the company and the city.  Apparently 3 barrels of oil spilled at a proposed Beck Energy well site in Munroe Falls, and the city is harassing the company and preventing it from being able to clean up the spill.

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Ravenna-based Beck Energy Corp., already ensnarled in a major court fight on drilling with the city of Munroe Falls, has filed a new legal action against the city. 
The company is seeking an injunction to block Munroe Falls from illegally interfering with its still-incomplete cleanup of a spill at the Twin Falls No. 1 natural gas well off North River Road. 
Beck and Munroe Falls are already locked in a legal battle over whether the city can control drilling or whether the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has sole responsibility over drilling in the state. That case is pending before the Ohio Supreme Court and is being closely followed by drillers and those who want to curtail drilling by pushing local control. 
That fight involves a different Beck Energy well proposed of Munroe Falls Avenue. 
The new battle erupted last month after about three barrels of oil spilled from the well and city officials began interfering with the company’s cleanup efforts, Beck said in a 13-page lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Summit County Common Pleas Court. 
The city and its employees "have repeatedly interfered with ODNR’s oversight and Beck Energy’s efforts to remediate the spill," the suit said.
Read the rest of the article here.

To an uneducated bumpkin like me, it seems like a rather strange thing for city employees to try and stop a company from cleaning up a small oil spill in the most prompt manner possible.  For those that would argue against home rule, this provides ammunition.

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