ATHENS, OHIO: The state is holding an open-house style forum instead of the formal public hearing that southeastern Ohio gas-drilling opponents had wanted.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that opponents of a proposed hydraulic-fracturing waste disposal well in Athens County are rankled the state isnít holding a public hearing.

Instead, theyíll get a public forum Wednesday night that isnít open to people carrying signs, banners or video cameras.

Heather Cantino, a member of the Athens County Fracking Action Network, said the open house doesnít give residents an opportunity to have their comments placed on the record before the state grants a disposal-well permit.

But a state spokeswoman said the venue will provide people with greater access to officials.