Push for Local Control Over Drilling Continues from Activist Groups and Communities They've Influenced in Ohio
“Our entire region is unfairly burdened by disposal wells,” said activist Mary Greer of Shalersville Township.
Local counties have no say in the permitting or operating of injection wells. Since 2004, that control rests solely with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Earlier this week, the Medina County Board of Elections ruled that a grass-root group had gathered enough signatures to place a proposed county charter amendment before the voters in November.
Sustainable Medina County is backing a new county charter with community bills of rights that might be used to block a planned natural gas pipeline.
A total of 4,867 valid signatures were collected; 4,814 signatures were needed.
Winning approval of the election’s board was a key step, but supporters must now win the public’s support, said spokeswoman Kathie Jones of Wadsworth Township.
Such a move would be among the first in Ohio. Similar campaigns are under way in Fulton, Meigs and Athens counties and in the city of Columbus.
The current structure of Medina County government would remain intact under the proposed charter, but the charter would give the county’s elected officials the authority to protect residents from “corporate harm.” In addition, the people’s right to initiative and referendum would be codified under the plan to give them more control.Click here to read more.
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