The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 24, 2013

County keeps watch on fracking elsewhere

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Staff Writer

— As area residents wait for a spring drilling in Wayne Township, Ashtabula County leaders are keeping a close eye on Carroll County where drilling has been going on for several years.

While many area citizens are in favor of the horizontal “fracking” procedure;, others are less than convinced the potential gains are worth the possible ecological problems.

Ashtabula County Commissioner Joe Moroski said county leaders are trying to stay in front of the issue. He said the county is trying to maintain a positive stance toward drilling while fighting to protect water and other natural resources.

There has been a growth in personal wealth from property owners in Carroll County, Moroski said, but there also has been issues.

“There is not enough infrastructure to get a lot of the gas out of the area,” he said.

Moroski said a second leasing boom is about to occur in Carroll County where people are going to be leasing land for pipelines to get the gas to distribution areas.

Moroski said it is unclear whether Ashtabula County will become a major producer of natural gas or a processor of the product.

He said Nathan Paskey, of Ashtabula County Soil and Water Conservation, Ashtabula County Engineer Tim Martin and Ashtabula County Extension Agent David Marrison are on a committee trying to learn from Carroll County.

While state and national leaders continue to debate the safety of fracking, area leaders have asked for public hearing regarding the use of injection wells for getting rid of the fracking waste.

Moroski said a letter has been sent to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources seeking a public hearing on Windsor Township injection wells being planned.

He said he is not opposed to injection wells, but believes they must be constructed with the most modern technology not using out-dated equipment and techniques.