From the Athens News:
Athens City Council has heard from a new group of citizens opposed to oil-and-gas extraction who proposed a 20-mile fracking ban be adopted by the city as part of a "bill of rights."
Athens resident Dick McGinn outlined the proposal to City Council on behalf of the Bill of Rights Committee.
McGinn said he appeared at City Council to speak to the "dangers that fracking and associated activities pose to the health, safety, happiness and even economic stability" of the Athens community.
"What we have is a committee to enact a community bill of rights with the aim of banning fracking and associated activities in, at, or near the aquifer that supplies water to the city of Athens," McGinn said.
Under current Ohio law, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources oversees drilling with local communities haviong no say.
Landowners within the ban area would be barred from leasing their land for oil and gas drilling.
The proposal was drawn up with the assistance of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.
McGinn said that the BORC is asking City Council to adopt the ordinance and place it as a referendum on the November 2013 ballot as well, promising the group will pursue the ballot initiative regardless of council's action.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.