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Ohio Utica Shale

Home rule battle moves into Mahoning County

By Bob Downing Published: August 6, 2012

The home rule fight over natural gas drilling has come to Ohio.

On July 31, two Mahoning County residents filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the Ohio Supreme Court to compel the Beaver Township trustees to accept their petitions to place home rule for the township on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The petition was filed by Akron attorney Warner Mendenhall on behalf of residents Julia Fuhrman Davis and Patti Gorcheff.

The township trustees on July 27 had rejected their petitions.

The Beaver Township residents were encouraged by the non-profit Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund to seek home rule to gain more control over drilling.

The defense fund is is based in Pennsylvania.

Informational meetings in the community are planned in September and October.

For more information, conatct Fuhrman Davis at 330-549-0019 or Gorcheff at 330-549-5129.

Proponents feel that home rule could give local communities the ability to enact laws or adopt zoning to block fracking.

The Ohio legislature has taken control over drilling away from local communities and given it to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

In New York, there are two court cases challenging home rule.

 In Pennsylvania, seven townships have gone to court over Act 13 rules that strip local communities of zoning powers when it comes to drilling in favor of state zoning rules.







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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.