Salem considers gas drilling ordinance - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Salem considers gas drilling ordinance

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SALEM, Ohio - The city planning commission is proposing an ordinance that would restrict drilling to industrial zones in the city and away from more residential areas.

The ordinance would prohibit companies from drilling oil and gas wells in the city to M2 industrial zoning districts and they have to be at least 500 feet away from any existing building or structure.

City leaders say they are just trying to be proactive.

"We know we can't prevent it. the legislature in Ohio has taken that responsibility for licensing we're just trying to redirect the oil and gas companies that may get leases from property owners in the city to simply not drill on any area other than industrial," says Mayor John Berlin.

Planning commission member, John Panezott, says, "The Department of Natural Resources as of right now can come in and give permission to be 5 feet from a house or residential area. here on this ordinance we're trying to keep it in a certain area an industrial area."

Some residents say they are concerned about the effects of gas drilling in the area so they applaud anything that can be done to encourage companies to look elsewhere.

"We don't know how this will effect us and I understand this is the 21st century and we all need gas and we all need products but I am concerned about the fracking itself, breaking that shell," says Salem resident, Diane Bates.

The legislation will go back to Salem city council as a whole where it will need to have two readings and a final vote.

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