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Legislative caucus focuses on drilling

Feb 16, 2012

Mansfield News Journal

COLUMBUS -- Ohio legislators have created a caucus comprising Senate and House members promoting legislation to strengthen laws surrounding shale oil and gas exploration in the state.

"Each member of this caucus is working on legislation to bring about substantive and thoughtful laws that will bring safety and transparency to this industry," Rep. Jay Goyal, D-Mansfield, said. "I think it's obvious to all of us that the shale oil and gas industry is here to stay and could actually help with Ohio's economic recovery. The industry is booming now, and that's why it's so vital for us to make sure all facets of their operations are done safely and protect the public and environment alike."

Some Responsible Shale Energy Development caucus members already have introduced legislation that will directly address issues related to hydraulic fracturing. Others are still crafting and fine-tuning laws to bring greater accountability and responsibility to Ohio's oil and gas extraction laws.

Goyal is working on a bill that would increase public notice requirements for companies who want to build new waste injection wells, require seismic testing for fault lines before companies can build new wells, mandate waste fluid recycling for drilling companies and require companies to test for chemicals in the brine water so local communities know what they may be exposed to if an incident occurs that allows chemicals to leak into the ground.