July 24, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Fracking is topic of special meeting Thursday in Medina

MEDINA — This week’s Special Legislation Committee meeting examining hydraulic fracturing will focus on the economic impact of oil and gas drilling.

At-large Councilman Bill Lamb said the meeting is designed to educate City Council and the public about how hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” might affect the city.

Bill Lamb

“It’s an educational platform so we can understand the issues,” he said.

Lamb said the meeting will not be a public forum to discuss a specific proposal, but the public is invited to attend and listen.

“If there’s any time, I may take questions, but it will be from people from the city,” he said.

At the committee’s first meeting, in December, some in the audience protested not being allowed to ask questions or comment and heckled Mike Chadsey, of Energy in Depth, a representative of the Oil and Gas Association.

At that meeting, two Broadview Heights residents and a Meigs County resident talked about the negative impact that oil and gas wells have had on their neighborhoods. About 40 people attended, filling Council’s rotunda.

Lamb said he invited Chadsey to speak at Thursday’s meeting because he wanted to hear more of what he had to say.

The meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 132 N. Elmwood Ave.

Several speakers will talk about the economic impact of oil and gas drilling: Christine Nelson, of JobsOhio; Bruce Gold, president of Architectural Daylighting, Medina; and Mark Overholt, president of Tiger General, a Montville Township company that makes equipment for oil and gas drilling.

Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting water, particles and chemicals deep underground at high pressure to break up shale and release oil and natural gas.

Two geologists also will speak about what the fracking process is and whether the geology of Medina is attractive to oil and gas drillers. They are David Steers, a professor of geology and environmental science at the University of Akron, and Bob Worstall, a geologist from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

A third meeting is planned for February, when the committee will talk with state officials about the issue of home rule and regulation of drilling.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.