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Ohio Utica Shale

Drinking water concerns in Carroll County

By Bob Downing Published: December 23, 2011

The Akron Beacon Journal and  other Ohio papers from the Columbus Dispatch to the Cleveland Plain Dealer to the Dayton Daily News have all visited Carroll County, the drilling hot spot in Ohio.

Paul Feezel of the Carroll Concerned Citizens remains concerned about ground water contamination.

"There are more than a few people (leased and unleased) who are worried about the impact of hydraulic fracturing on Carroll County's sole source aquifer and rural character," he wrote in an email.

In Carroll County, 95 percent of residents rely on private wells for their home and agricultural use, and studies show that where fracking occurs, ground water contamination does, too, said Feezel, chair of the Akron-based Portage Trail Group of the Sierra Club.

Ohio only requires drillers to provide water-replacement means like a cistern or a municipal water line, and landowners would be forced to pay for replacement water, he said.

That could be very costly for farmers who use large volumes of water in their operations, he said.

Feezel's grass-roots group has been working for two years with the state, Chesapeake Energy and landowners to protect landowner rights, especially water rights. That includes water-testing protocols to test residential wells before the drilling gets under way.

It is clear the ODNR is "woefully behind" in understanding and being able to oversee the growing opeations, he said.

ODNR has and continues to defend its ability to oversee drilling.

Feezel's group is also educating the public and elected officials and working with landowners and the faith community to minimize the downside risk from the drilling boom.

For information on Feezel's group, go to www.




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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.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

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.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

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.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

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

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.