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Ohio Utica Shale

Cowden to speak on fracking dangers Tuesday in Bowling Green

By Bob Downing Published: September 7, 2013

From grass-roots groups in Bowling Green:





Contact:  Leslie Harper  (419) 308-8993                                                         September 5, 2013

Lisa Kochheiser (419) 349-3379                            


Dr. Deb Cowden has been travelling throughout Ohio for over a year to educate audiences about the potential detrimental effects from air and water contamination caused by high-volume, horizontal, hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Deb has made presentations with the Ohio Environmental Council, Stewards of the Land and others and is coming to Bowling Green on behalf of Protect Wood County to begin the Expert Series on Fracking Facts.  Deb’s presentation, “Health Effects from Unconventional Shale Drilling,” will outline the mechanisms that affect human health through the release of toxic chemicals into the air, and the deliberate or accidental spills and possible migration of methane and toxins - including radioactive components - into the atmosphere and surface water and groundwater sources/ She will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Bowling Green..


The public is not given complete information about all the components used for fracking, but what is known about the chemicals added and what returns to the surface,such as arsenic and water-soluble radium 226 and 228,is enough to create significant threats to the environment. Even though green completion technology is available to collect fugitive gas from fracking, it is not a requirement at this time, so many fracking operations use venting to release gas pressure. This can release airborne toxins such as benzene and toluene into the air.


In her profession as a health-care provider and educator, Dr. Cowden has become increasingly concerned about the human health effects from fracking and its associated industrial processes such as air contamination from compressor stations, the installation and monitoring of storage facilities,and the potential for release of hydrogen sulfide gas as a result of drilling operations.


Dr. Cowden in Board Certified in Family Medicine with significant additional experience in Emergency Medicine. She is President of the Green County Medical Society 2012-2013 and Alternate Representative to the Ohio State Medical Association from Green County in 2012 and 2013. She has been a practicing physician for 22 years.


Dr. Cowden’s presentation is the first in the Expert Series of Tuesday evening presentations about fracking. Residents in Northwest Ohio are invited to attend these educational events being held in September and October. Many people do not realize that fracking is taking placein the area with its supporting pipelines, compressor stations and other infrastructure that process and export gas. These presentations are intended to give a full picture ofthe impact of the industry to local residents. The Expert Series is sponsored by Protect BG in support of the Bowling Green Charter Amendment for the Citizen’s Bill of Rights, Protect Wood County (, FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio ( and Northwest Ohio Alliance to Stop Fracking (Facebook).



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

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Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

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Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

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.

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Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

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Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.