Final Budget for Ohio Eliminates Loophole Allowing Unitization of Public Land for Drilling

From ThisWeekNews:
In addition to creating the operating budget for fiscal year 2018-19, HB 49 previously included a loophole regarding unitization, a practice that allows horizontal drilling to reach minerals below the surface of a landowner’s property without the landowner’s approval. 
Woody Woodward, the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association’s executive director, said the House committee’s revisions reverted the unitization protocol to current law, meaning that the unitization of public land is not allowed. 
A metropolitan park is protected from any unitization order, and it cannot be included in a unitization pool without that metropolitan parks district’s approval, Woodward said. 
“We feel good about the work that the conference committee has done on this,” Woodward said. “It protects the valuable natural resources, which are included in metro parks throughout the state.”
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