Marisa Twigg, Creative and Communications Director, January 31, 2023
COLUMBUS, OH — This Wednesday, the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission is holding a rulemaking hearing on state lands leasing. Coming in the wake of House Bill 507, the Commission’s proposed rule, when adopted, will start a new state system of leasing state parks and public lands for fracking. State statute requires the Commission, as part of this new system, to consider public comments and objections when deciding whether to lease state parks. However, the current version of the Commission’s draft rule fails to provide for public notice and comment.
The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) urges the Commission to expand its proposed rule, O.A.C. § 155-1-01, to include procedures implementing a robust public involvement process. Without strong notice and comment procedures, Ohioans will be left in the dark on state lands leasing. In the absence of a fair public involvement process, the public will have good reason to question the credibility of the Commission’s leasing decisions.
The following quote can be attributed, in whole or in part, to Nathan Johnson, Director of Public Lands for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC):
“The Ohio Environmental Council strongly believes that Ohioans should have a voice in decisions concerning their public lands. Leasing and development of Ohio’s state parks for oil and gas is a matter of substantial public interest. This controversial subject touches on a host of vitally important considerations, from public health and environmental quality, to conservation and recreational enjoyment, and much more. The OEC urges the Commission to expand the draft rule to include public notice and comment processes in state park and public lands leasing decisions. Without strong notice and comment procedures, Ohioans will be left in the dark on state lands leasing. In the absence of a fair public involvement process, the public will have good reason to question the credibility of the Commission’s leasing decisions.”
The Oil and Gas Land Management Commission will host a hearing on proposed rule O.A.C. § 155-1-01 at 10:00 a.m. this Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, located at 2045 Morse Road, Building E, 1st Floor Assembly Center. View the agenda here.
The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s most comprehensive and effective environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio. The OEC develops and ensures the implementation of forward-thinking, science-based, pragmatic solutions to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home.
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