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Residents voice concerns over fracking

Groups release report from Listening Project, detailing real-life fracking experiences of Eastern Ohio residents

The public will have an opportunity to learn about the attitudes of many Ohioans living in Eastern Ohio’s “gas lands” at a unique forum set for Oct. 2 in Carrollton, Ohio.

At the public meeting, organizers from Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE) and the Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) are set to unveil information gathered from six months of surveys of more than 800 people living among several counties in Eastern Ohio where shale gas is being drilled. The meeting is part of the groups’ Ohio Shale Country Listening Project.

For many communities in Eastern Ohio, the explosion of the shale gas industry is an inescapable way of life. But the tantalizing prospect of new jobs and economic prosperity has yet to come to fruition for most of them. More often than not, residents endure skyrocketing rents, heightened levels of traffic and noise and light pollution. Some Eastern Ohio residents are even beginning to notice problems with their water.

“This project is the first of it’s kind in Ohio, soliciting the real life experiences of real-life people who are most directly impacted by shale gas development right here in Ohio,” stated Melanie Houston, Director of Water Policy and Environmental Health for the Ohio Environmental Council. “We want to bring these real-life stories to the public and to decision-makers across the state.”

In response to the ever-growing concerns of these communities, the Ohio Environmental Council has assisted the OOC and CURE, FracTracker Alliance, and the Laborers International Union Local 809 over the last six months in gathering  stories from people living in the rapidly developing Utica shale zones.

Findings from the survey project along with policy recommendations to protect people’s property and air and water are detailed in a report the groups plan to release at the meeting.

“This meeting is not politically motivated. It is a direct reflection of what the people impacted by the shale boom want and need. It’s an opportunity for them to voice their concerns and get a place at the table when it comes to making policies that affect their neighborhoods and communities.” said CURE Fellow, Andrew LaVouge.

Who: Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE)

What: Shale Boom Listening Project Public Meeting

When: 7 pm, Thursday, October 2

Where: Christ Church, 353 Moody Ave SW, Carrollton, OH

More: The meeting is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.