Environmental groups to converge on Statehouse Wednesday

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Citizens from across the state, including Concerned Citizens Ohio, will converge in the Statehouse today to lobby legislators on proposed fracking legislation for Legislator Accountability Day.

The lobbying event is sponsored by Buckeye Forest Council; Frack Free Ohio; Food & Water Watch; Center for Heath, Environment, and Justice; Ohio Citizen Action and Ohio Sierra Club. The groups are calling for a return of local municipal control over oil and gas activities, emergency medical right-to-know and a ban on liquid waste resulting from fracking.

The lobby day is set to begin at the Ohio Theater at 10 a.m., with lawmaker meetings scheduled throughout the day. Citizens will rally on the Statehouse lawn at 1 p.m., where speakers will address the most pressing issues related to fracking in Ohio. The day will culminate with a petition delivery to Governor John Kasich's office at 2:30 p.m.

Citizens and environmental groups are calling on state lawmakers and the governor to:

Co-sponsor and move upcoming legislation that would ban oil and gas liquid waste from being injected underground, spread on Ohio roadways and discharged from treatment plants into Ohio's waterways.

Approve Senate Bill 17 and House Bill 42, which would give medical professionals and emergency responders complete access to chemical information and make the oil and gas industry play by the same emergency planning rules as other industries in Ohio.

Return of local control over oil and gas activities, restoring authority that was taken away in 2004. House Bill 41 would allow local municipalities to decide whether and where fracking would be in their community.

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