Youngstown group takes part in anti-frack rally in Columbus - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Youngstown group takes part in anti-frack rally in Columbus

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - On Legislature Accountability Day, activists from Concerned Citizens Ohio, Sierra Club, OhioFracktion and other groups rallied Wednesday to push lawmakers to return local control, so municipalities can decide how to regulate oil and gas drilling and the disposal of fracking fluids, or whether to ban them all together.

Specifically, the groups are concerned about what some believe is a controversial method for releasing oil and gas from rock formations. The fracking process involves injecting pressurized fluid into the ground in order to release gas and oil from source rocks.

Proponents say the jobs and other economic benefits from the shale exploration and drilling boom will be an economic boost to Ohio, but environmental activists fear possible ground water contamination from the fracking process.

Today, State Senator Joe Schiavoni and State Representative Bob Hagan introduced legislation that would elevate the climb of illegal dumpings to a felony, with a minimum three-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine. A second offense would carry a six-year prison term and minimum $25,00 fine.

The groups want companies to be required to provide easily accesible information about all chemicals to first responders, firefighters, doctors and injured workers.

Currently, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources keeps that information and has not been forthcoming.

Activists say they also want local governments to have the ability to ban fracking in their cities if they choose to.

After the rally, activists will walk various petitions over to Governor John Kasich on the 30th floor.

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