Editor:

There are real and very serious risks associated with the oil and gas development in our area. Ohio has not commissioned a scientific study on fracking. Ohio's regulations of the oil and gas industry are among the weakest in the country and some critical regulations have never been written. The chief of the ODNR Division of Oil and Gas can waive many of the regulations that do exist at will, and regularly does so. Radioactive fracking fluid and drill cuttings are virtually unregulated in Ohio. That has made Ohio the fracking waste dumping ground of choice for neighboring states. Ohio is accepting waste that is classified as radioactive in Pennsylvania and West Virginia for disposal in landfills that are not equipped to contain or monitor it.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared that the state of New York would prohibit fracking statewide, after announcing the results of a state-commissioned scientific review of the health impacts of oil and gas development.

"Would I let my child play in a school field near [fracking]?" asked the New York Health Commissioner. "The answer is no."

Gov. Cuomo said: "If you wouldn't want your children to live near fracking, no one's children should have to." They went on to state that the risks of fracking outweigh the benefits.

The Concerned Health Professionals of New York released a Compendium the day the ban was issued and the document served as the foundation for the statewide ban on fracking.

The Compendium of Scientific, Medical and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (the Compendium) is a fully referenced compilation of the evidence outlining the risks and harms of fracking. Bringing together findings from scientific and medical literature, government and industry reports, and journalistic investigation. it is a public, open-access document that is housed on the websites of Concerned Health Professionals of New York (www.concernedhealthny.org) and Physicians for Social Responsibility (www.psr.org).

This Compendium has been recently updated and the latest version includes dozens of new studies that further demonstrate the recurrent problems, data gaps and ongoing uncertainties that natural gas and oil extraction via hydraulic fracturing brings with it. Please take a few moments and go to their websites and educate yourself about the true reality of living with fracking. A copy of the Compendium has been given to the Barnesville Hutton Memorial Library.

The New York Compendium confirms what concerned citizens have been saying, that shale gas development poses significant threat to public health and environmental safety. "People power" in New York demanded that their elected officials put public health and environmental safety above corporate interests and economic benefits. Concerned Ohio residents need to continue to demand protections from the hazards of the fracking industry.

The "people power" in our community has gathered much strength and we have been successful in protecting our water and keeping a dangerous fracking waste facility from being built a mile from our village.

Thank you to all who have taken a stand to protect our children’s future and their right to clean water, fresh air and healthy land.

Jill Antares Hunkler

Barnesville