Even if village officials successfully debunk Gulfport Energy's claim of holding specific rights for drawing water from the Slope Creek Reservoir for nearby fracking, the litigation will likely soak Barnesville taxpayers.
Barnesville Village Solicitor Marlin Harper said officials will need to hire outside counsel to defend themselves against Gulfport in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The Oklahoma City-based fracker filed the suit last month, citing a potential loss of "millions of dollars" if it does not receive assurances that it can draw water from the reservoir, which is about 5 miles outside the village.
"It could be a substantial expense. The bigger city law firms charge hundreds of dollars per hour," Harper said, noting he believes the village of 4,100 residents needs a law firm accustomed to handling federal litigation.Continue reading by clicking here.
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