Opponents to Youngstown anti-fracking amendment scrap ballot cha - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Opponents to Youngstown anti-fracking amendment scrap ballot challenge

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Objectors to the proposed Youngstown oil and gas drilling ban in Youngstown have withdrawn their ballot certification challenge according to a news release from the Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Mahoning County Board of Elections canceled Friday afternoon's scheduled hearing on objections filed against the  proposed Youngstown city charter amendment which has been given a spot on the November ballot.

According to the chamber release, concerns regarding conflicts of interest among board of election members were a factor in the group's decision.

Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber Vice President of Government & Media Affairs Tony Paglia helped coordinate the group's effort.

Paglia is quoted in the release as saying, "We strongly believe the board of elections has the ability and duty to prevent a misleading, poorly constructed and unenforceable charter amendment from going before the voters. However, moving forward with a protest would needlessly cloud this issue with concerns over board of elections conflicts of interests and board member recusals."

This past spring, Youngstown voters rejected a similar amendment that would have banned oil and gas drilling within city limits.

Supporters of the amendment cite environmental uncertainties surrounding the drilling practice known as fracking.

Opponents say if passed, the amendment would have no effect, since drilling is regulated by state and federal rules and laws.

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