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Environment


Anti-fracking activist sues Ohio watershed district over records request
Whether the district's list of land leases is public record is at the heart of a suit that's the latest twist in efforts to stop the sale of water for fracking
Story by GRACE MURRAY


 
Clendening Lake is part of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, the largest watershed within Ohio. The district's decision to sell 15 million gallons of water from Clendening to Gulfport Energy for use in fracking has angered some residents.
Courtesy of MWCD
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The denial of a public records request from the managers of the state’s largest watershed has led to a lawsuit.

Toledo resident Leatra Harper is suing the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District after her request for the addresses of individuals and businesses leasing land in the watershed was denied. She's head of the Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water, an anti-fracking group, owns a cabin near Seneca Lake and opposes the district’s decision to sell 15 million gallons of water for fracking operations.

Watershed spokesman Darrin Lautenschleger says the district has complied with her other public records requests.

LISTEN: Lautenschleger on watershed records requests

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“I can tell you that this particular requester has received from the conservancy district over the past year [or] year and a half more than 4,000 pages of documents for public records requests. So there has certainly been no attempt by the conservancy district to withhold records or not provide records that do belong to the public.” 

Lautenschleger says the district is trying to protect the privacy of other cabin owners who may not want to receive anti-fracking literature from Harper’s group.

LAUTENSCHLEGER: Protecting people from mailings
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(0:12)



 
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