News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Ohio lawmakers debate the demands of drilling on Lake Erie
Environmentalists say the water drawn for hydraulic fracturing could drain valuable water
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Rep. David Hall, chairman of the Agriculture Committee, talks about his vote in favor of the Great Lakes compact bill with Larry Mitchell, president of the League of Ohio Sportsmen, who testified against the bill. If passed, the law would bar recreational users from suing over water problems.
Courtesy of KAREN KASLER
Download (WKSU Only)

Lawmakers could vote tomorrow on legislation enacting a multi-state agreement that safeguards the Great Lakes from massive withdrawals of water. But Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports some environmentalists still have a flood of concerns.

KASLER Debate over Ohio's draws from the Great Lakes Basin

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:11)


Lawmakers on the House Agriculture Committee voted strictly along party lines to approve the deal that would put into effect in Ohio the Great Lakes Compact. That’s an agreement signed in 2005 by eight states and two Canadian provinces to try to protect the Great Lakes from massive withdrawals of water.

This is the second time around for the Great Lakes Compact legislation in Ohio.  Gov. John Kasich vetoed the first bill after other states and even two former Ohio Republican governors raised concerns that it allowed too much of a draw with too little oversight.

This bill makes some changes including lowering how much water can be taken. But most supporters who liked the first version of the bill like this one as well.

Larry Antosh from the Ohio Farm Bureau says the bill accomplishes the objectives of the compact and promotes stewardship of Ohio’s water resources. 

“(It) ensur(es) a safe, sustainable supply of water to meet the needs of today’s and future generations, protects existing private property rights associated with surface and ground water, and promotes economic development and job creation by recognizing that abundant fresh water is a highly desirable commodity.”

But what about fracking? 
The bill cuts in half the amount of water that can be taken from Lake Erie to 2.5 million gallons without a permit.

But most environmental activists say the Ohio proposal doesn’t do enough to safeguard the tributaries and streams that run into Lake Erie.  And some are very concerned about provisions allowing for withdrawals to be capped but averaged over as long as 90 days.

 Sam Speck was the director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for eight years under Republican Gov. Bob Taft. 
“Over 90 days is a total of 9 million gallons you could take, and the way it’s currently written, you could do all that in one day. And of course that’s a way in which you could destroy a stream or the fishery in that stream.”

That’s never happened before and is extremely unlikely, says the Republican lawmaker who worked with Gov. Kasich on this compromise,  Rep. Lynn Wachtmann of northwest Ohio. 
“The fact is that in Ohio’s history, we’ve never had a single problem with that. And up until now, there has been no regulation in Ohio except for reporting withdrawal. So the lies being told by some of the environmental groups that we’re repealing safeguards in place is simply that – a lie.”

But Jack Shaner with the Ohio Environmental Council says just because it’s never happened before doesn’t mean it couldn’t now, for one big reason – fracking. 
“We’ve never seen these kinds of withdrawals concentrated – and these are in parts of the state with very low water resources to begin with, over there in eastern Ohio.”

Recreational users have no standing
But ag committee chairman David Hall of Millersburg– near where some fracking activity has been going on – says he’s not worried about drillers pulling millions of gallons of water from vulnerable streams. 

“They’re working with a lot of cities right now – the potential of using city water and using the untreated water first. So I don’t see that being an addressed issue that we need to look at.”

Environmental activists are also very concerned about a provision of the bill that limits who can challenge the state over permits. The bill allows only water users who can prove an economic or property injury related to a withdrawal to appeal permits – not those who use the water for recreation or other activities. Former ODNR director Speck says he thinks if the bill passes, that will end up in court.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

The Sierra Club is launching ads against Ohio's U.S. Sen. Rob Portman
“'I don’t know what the ad’s going to say. But I hope it’s truthful,' said Portman." This from a man who voted "no" last winter on a Senate resolution s...

Ohio Republicans protest the loss of Mt. McKinley
I believe the U.S.gov't. was overstepping its bounds by renaming a mountain that belongs to Alaska. How would we like it if Alaska (or any other state) telling ...

Pluto: University of Akron cuts baseball - should football be next?
remember when akron and Youngstown state were both in the ovc. As a Morehead State fan, made trips to both schools and had a wonderful experience. Played Akron ...

Ohio to aid young adults who age out of foster care
I think it's a great idea. I worked for an at risk high school and it was really sad to see the amount of kids who had no where to go because they had aged out...

Could University Circle developments ripple into East Cleveland?
Outsiders are so far off the beaten path and you all need to attend the meeting being held today 8/31/15 Cleveland Public Library, 1:00 PM. http://44112news.co...

ResponsibleOhio leader says the state is trying to set Issue 3 up for failure
Ohio suppose to believe that a group of investors were united under one cause to legalize marijuana.Once legal they all of sudden turn into 10 different compani...

Terry Pluto: U of A's new athletic director has the toughest job in town
It is a hard sell. The Students do not want to go to the football games and they do not want to pay for the program. They have a lot of student loan debt and t...

Akron considering the future of the B.F. Goodrich smokestacks
This BFGoodrich alumna says, "Thank you, Dave Lieberth!"

State creates panel to look at Ohio charter school sponsors
It is more than disturbing that charter schools, which seemed like a good idea years ago, have begun to cripple public school education.

DEVO mural in Akron is now on display downtown
The installation is not at the former site of Chili Dog Mac. CDM was one block north on the other side of Main St.

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University