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Activists Rally Over Pending Fracking on Ohio’s State Lands

A vertical view of the center of a fracking drill with blue sky above it.

Fracking-related activities release an estimated 450,000 tons of pollutants into the air each year nationwide, which can have immediate public health effects. Photo courtesy of PNS

A governor-appointed commission could begin approving fracking leases on Ohio’s state lands as early as next month.

Jenny Morgan a volunteer for the group Save Ohio Parks who will be rallying experts and environmental activists in Columbus Oct. 27, said fracking and related infrastructure are linked to increased childhood cancers, fertility and hormone disruption and a host of other negative health effects.

“Gas and oil drilling, hydrofracking is anything but (safe),” Morgan contended. “The waste stream is radioactive waste that has to be re-injected, has to be carted away by trucks. It’s light pollution, it’s noise pollution, it’s air pollution.”

Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 507 into law this year, which mandates the state approve permits for oil and gas leasing on state-owned land. The fracking industry and other supporters of the legislation argued expanding fracking to state lands will benefit communities economically and keep energy costs affordable.

Morgan pointed to polls in recent years showing most residents are either strongly opposed, somewhat opposed, or unsure about fracking as a means of energy production in their state.

“We’re going to make our voices heard,” Morgan asserted. “Even though they have told us that our voices don’t matter and shown us that our voices don’t matter, we’re still going to stand up and insist that this not happen.”

According to the Yale School of the Environment, health effects increasingly linked to living near fracking include cancer, low birth weight, disruptions to the endocrine system, nose bleeds, headaches, and nausea.

Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.

This article was originally published by Public News Service on Oct. 19, 2023

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2023 — Fall

2023 — Fall

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