Judge allows fracking lawsuit to proceed

A couple who sued to try to stop shale gas drilling around a state-owned lake in eastern Ohio won an early victory this week as a judge ruled their lawsuit can proceed.
Associated Press
Apr 11, 2014

 

The Franklin County judge ruled the Guernsey County couple has legal standing to try to stop hydraulic fracturing — known as fracking — around and beneath Seneca Lake, about 80 miles east of Columbus.

Leatra Harper and Steven Janstro sued in October after the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District approved a $40.3 million lease with a Colorado-based drilling company for underground mineral rights to 6,400 acres, including the lake, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Common Pleas Judge Tim Horton ruled on Monday the plaintiffs have established they “have suffered or are threatened with direct and concrete injury” to their health, to the environment where their property lies and to the property’s value.

The decision allows the lawsuit to proceed against the conservancy district, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the drilling company, Antero Resources. The couple ultimately wants the court to find that the watershed district and the state acted improperly in approving the project.

The judge rejected the defendants’ argument that the couple didn’t have legal standing because their “alleged injuries are speculative and hypothetical”

The lease does not permit wells to be drilled on district-owned land, but it allows Antero Resources to drill beneath the lake and on district land from wells outside the district. District spokesman Darrin Lautenschleger said three wells “have gone under the property to begin production”

The drilling operations will continue despite the litigation, he said.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Natural Resources, which granted the drilling permits for the project, said the department will not comment on ongoing litigation.

More than 660 fracking wells have been drilled in Ohio since 2010.

Comments

The Big Dog's back

5 tremors have occurred in the Youngstown area. Fracking IS NOT SAFE!

holysee

The safety factor is obvious, even if it is whitewashed by lobbyists and advertising. Fracking is a last hoorah for profiteers trying to get in their last digs before all hades breaks loose. One might believe that it's a good thing to keep that gas in the ground for future generations, who no doubt would find a safer way to extract it, if not already being at a point of not even needing it. Fossil fuels are energy derived from the sun from many millenia past. We need to do everything possible under the sun to utilize the sun in the present tense. Capitalist profit motives are the main thing keeping that energy future from becoming a reality in time to do anything majorly positive for the present.
You can put your tinfoil hat on and keep believing that climate change is a hoax and that our brightest will invent our way out of this predicament in the short term. Meanwhile education is being put on the lowest of priority when it comes to funding and implementation of positive reform.
It's simple to discount science when you don't understand it yet it was science that brought us fracking and all the wonderful uses for the resulting natgas.
We humans are a fascinating study in denial and hypocrisy

Dr. Information

Fracking is safe.