Ohio drilling opponents won't get public hearing

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — The state is holding an open-house style forum instead of the formal public hearing that southeastern Ohio gas-drilling opponents had wanted.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/TkQ9PL ) reports that opponents of a proposed hydraulic-fracturing waste disposal well in Athens County are rankled the state isn't holding a public hearing.

Instead, they'll get a public forum Wednesday night that isn't open to people carrying signs, banners or video cameras.

Heather Cantino, a member of the Athens County Fracking Action Network, said the open house doesn't give residents an opportunity to have their comments placed on the record before the state grants a disposal-well permit.

But a state spokeswoman said the venue will provide people with greater access to officials.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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