Press Release

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OEC Condemns Fracking in Ohio State Parks Approved by the Oil & Gas Land Management Commission

The OEC has fought for over 12 years to prevent fracking in Ohio’s state parks

COLUMBUS, OH — Despite enormous public resistance statewide and a pending Ohio Attorney General investigation into allegedly fraudulent public comments on the matter, the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission (OGLMC) voted today to approve leasing nominations for the following state parks and wildlife areas:

  • Salt Fork State Park in Guernsey County
  • Valley Run Wildlife Area in Carroll County
  • Zepernick Wildlife Area in Columbiana County

For 12 years and counting, the Ohio Environmental Council has fought to protect Ohio’s state public lands from oil and gas development. The OEC firmly believes that state public lands should not be used for fossil fuel production. We condemn the decisions to lease these vibrant, healthy places for fracking.

The following quotes can be attributed, in whole or in part, to Molly Jo Stanley, Southeast Ohio Regional Director for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC):

“The Commission’s perilous decision to lease Ohio state parks for fracking is deeply disturbing. Ohioans expect to have safe air to breathe and clean water to drink when visiting state parks, but numerous studies have proven that fracking fossil fuels near people results in serious health impacts like asthma, childhood cancer and more. The state of Ohio should do everything it can to protect these special places and every person who visits them, but the Commission’s votes do just the opposite. This will be the first time the State has allowed our state parks to be fracked; it is a troubling precedent.”

“Our state parks should be protected for everyone to enjoy — not drilled by the fossil fuel industry for short-term profits. Governor DeWine made it clear in his 2022 State of the State Address that having clean and safe public parks is critical to the health and wellbeing of all who call Ohio home. Having healthy air and water in Ohio state parks for generations to come is more important than making money from the oil and gas industry. The State should not expand fracking at a time when we need to reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change. Every Ohioan deserves to safely recreate at places like Salt Fork State Park without being subjected to harmful air and water pollution created by the fossil fuel industry. Governor DeWine’s appointed Commission has failed Ohioans, as facilitated by the 134th Ohio General Assembly’s passage of House Bill 507.”



Marisa Twigg, Ohio Environmental Council