Members from the local group of Concerned Citizens Ohio are asking Portage County commissioners to work to lessen the impact of hydraulic fracturing on residents.
"We're here to help you," said Mary Greer, one of about 14 people who attended Tuesday's session. "We're not saying shut down the wells or defy state law -- we know you can't do that."
Greer said commissioners should anticipate the worst possible outcomes from horizontal hydraulic fracture drilling and its waste products, and work with others to prevent those outcomes.
The group presented a similar list of recommendations to Kent City Council earlier this month. Among them are examples of action taken by other Ohio municipalities and townships to block or control fracking.
Others of the group addressed commissioners Kathleen Chandler and Maureen T. Frederick on issues from injection wells and air quality to noise from drilling and the potential loss of hearing. Commissioner Tommie Jo Marsilio was absent from the session.
Gwen Fischer of Hiram Township, said she was concerned about the industrialization of the rural countryside when miles of pipelines are put in to connect natural gas wells.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has approved permits for 14 horizontal gas wells in Portage County. Four permits are for sites in southern Nelson while there are two permits each in Freedom, Palmyra, Suffield and Windham townships. There are single permits in Hiram and Rootstown townships. The first well in the county, drilled in western Suffield, has been plugged. A second well at the same site is producing natural gas.
The concerned citizens group has been working to educated residents and inform them of the potential ill effects to physical health and property from the new industry.
Fischer pointed out that thousands of gallons of wastewater from Pennsylvania and other parts of Ohio are coming in to Portage for disposal.
Jean Cebulla of Hiram Township said commissioners can protect citizens by promoting "green" energy and by appointing concerned residents to committees to look for solutions.
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