A Western Pennsylvania-based fracking watchdog/tracking agency is coming to Ohio.
FracTracker Alliance has received a two-year $130.000 grant from the Cleveland-based George Gund Foundation and intends to hire a staffer who will be based in the Warren-Youngstown area.
The non-profit organization offers an independent website and interactive tool to explore data and map the impacts of drilling for natural gas-oil.
Said Caitlin Johnson, a Gund Foundation spokeswoman, "We funded FracTracker because we felt there is a real lack of transparency and understanding about all the issues surrounding shale gas drilling. FracTracker is an unbiased source of information, data and analysis. A tool like this is sorely needed as the debate around hydraulic fracturing is all too often defined by ideology instead of facts."
The alliance is dedicated to enhancing the public’s understanding of the global shale gas industry by collecting, interpreting and sharing data and visualizations through its website: www.FracTracker.org.
The group, based in Camp Hill, Pa., works with citizens, organizations and institutions to provide objective, helpful information, to promote awareness and support actions that protect public health, the environment, and socioeconomic well-being.
"Thanks to the George Gund Foundation, we’re very pleased to be able to strengthen our presence in Ohio and serve as better resource to those grappling with the challenges of shale gas," said Brook Lenker, FracTracker’s executive director, in a statement
His group has largely been funded by the Heinz Endowments and the William Penn Foundation. It was founded in 2009.
His group will appear at the Sept. 6 meeting of the Carroll Concerned Citizens in Carroll County.
The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Church of Christ-Christian Disciples, 353 Moody St., Carrollton. Free and open to the public.
"I look forward to meeting citizens and elected officials at the Sept. 6 meeting where we will kick off our new Ohio initiative, discuss our work and identify opportunities for collaboration," Lenker said.
The Gund Foundation also awarded a $35,000 grant to the national environmental group Earthjustice to review Ohio’s rules and regulations on fracking.
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.