Nathan Johnson, Director of Public Lands , May 2, 2017
The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) today filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over plans to frack the Wayne National Forest, Ohio’s only national forest. The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Columbus.
“The Wayne is a public forest owned by every Ohioan and every American. The OEC is bringing this lawsuit because we want our children and grandchildren to know a Wayne that’s full of towering trees and thriving wildlife, not one that’s scarred by frack pads and pipelines,” said Nathan Johnson, Attorney and Public Lands Director for the Ohio Environmental Council.
“We have the law on our side,” added Johnson. “The agencies are required to closely review the environmental consequences of their leasing decisions, and they didn’t do their required homework. They refused to even acknowledge that oil and gas pipelines will be a major disruptive presence in the forest. We’re looking at a textbook legal failure on their part.”
The BLM’s stated intention is to lease off 40,000 acres of the Wayne National Forest’s Marietta Unit to oil and gas operators. This sets up approximately two-thirds of the Unit to be auctioned off in upcoming quarterly BLM lease sales.
The Ohio Environmental Council is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) conservation organization whose mission is to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home.
To view a copy of the filed lawsuit, click here.