ODNR to Address Chamber, FrackFree to Respond

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — James Zehringer, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, will be among the featured speakers today at a luncheon hosted by the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber’s Government Affairs Council. The luncheon will take place at 11 a.m. at Mill Creek MetroParks’ Fellows Riverside Gardens.

Zehringer will be joined by Rick Simmers, chief of ODNR’s division of oil and gas resource management, and Gary Obermiller, chief of Ohio State Parks. Simmers will speak about recent advancements in the regulation and production of the Utica Shale and Obermiller will discuss capital investment in Ohio’s 74 state parks to help boost travel and tourism in the state.

Following the event, representatives of Frackfree Mahoning Valley will react to the ODNR officials’ comments during a press conference on the public sidewalk in front the MetroParks’ D.D. and Velma Davis Education and Visitor Center.

Frackfree Mahoning Valley said it will distribute and discuss what representatives describe as “troubling” ODNR well inspection documents. Speakers will provide recent information and concerns about local fracking waste injection wells and the potential for more injection-well related, man-made earthquakes and their risks to public health, safety and well-being.

The advocacy group will call for ODNR to deny an injection permit for a recently drilled Vienna injection well near a family home and the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport. The group says two Weathersfield/Niles injection wells already linked to earthquakes should remain shut down.

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