OEC In the News

Keep up with media coverage of the OEC and the issues that are important to you.

Bakken oil trains roll across Columbus

March 29, 2015
“If it could happen in these other places. It could surely happen right here in Ohio,” said Melanie Houston, director of water policy and environmental health for the Ohio Environmental Council, an environmental advocacy group. “It could happen in a rural area, but it could also happen in a highly populated metropolitan area like Columbus.”

Ohio lawmakers pass bill to clean up Lake Erie

March 25, 2015
Jack Shaner, deputy director for the Ohio Environmental Council, said that Ohio’s state government made “solid progress” in cleaning up Lake Erie by passing the bill, which was shepherded through the Ohio House and Ohio Senate by the two houses’ Republican leaders, but which enjoyed bipartisan support. Shaner said Kasich helped make sure the bill would be strong enough to help deal with the problem.

No Fracking in State Parks, Ohio House Democrats and Republicans Surprisingly Agree

March 19, 2015
“Despite its best efforts, industry was stonewalled from snorkeling through state parks,” said Trent Dougherty of the Ohio Environmental Council. “OEC testified against the bill in late February, citing, among other concerns, the bill’s overreaching impact to state protected forests and parks. Tuesday’s amendment addressed some of our major concerns. We would have desired no bill approving unitization on public lands, and on the other side, industry wanted to force ODNR to allow drilling units to include all public owned lands in the state—no questions asked.

Some fighting state proposal on disclosure of fracking chemicals

March 13, 2015
“We have a legitimate cause for concern is how I would put it, given the handling of the Monroe County incident and the chemical fire there, and ODNR holding onto chemical information and not sharing it in a timely manner with other agencies that needed it,” said Melanie Houston, director of water policy and environmental health for the Ohio Environmental Council, an advocacy group.

Ohio towns play wait-and-see in wake of drilling ruling

March 10, 2015
The small towns and villages may have a better chance of controlling drilling by using more conventional legal doctrines, said Nathan Johnson and Trent Doughterty, attorneys with the Ohio Environmental Council. The Supreme Court’s wording on zoning may give towns a chance to defend their bans, as long as they’re couched as land-use decisions and not an attempt to regulate drilling, Dougherty said. Also, Ohio law allows communities to protect their water sources, even outside their boundaries, Johnson said.

Ohio Legislature Weighs New ‘Run-off’ Regs For Farmers

March 9, 2015
The Ohio Environmental Council says timeliness is a concern. Spokesman Adam Rissien says the OEC takes a neutral position on the house legislation, in part, because it lacks an emergency clause and would NOT take effect in time for spring planting. “And any provisions that we can get in place before the ground starts seeing significant rain events is going to be a good thing,” says Rissien.

EPA’s New Rules Concerning Old Wood Stove Burning System a “No Brainer”, Ohio Environmental Council

March 9, 2015
The EPA evaluates the rules will minimize fine-particle pollution from wood-burning stoves by almost 70 percent and save an average of one premature death per day. The rules are the first updates to regulations on wood-burning stoves since 1988. In an email, director Brennan Howell for the advocacy group Ohio Environmental Council called the new rules “a no-brainer”.

Lake Erie algal bloom bills' future uncertain at Ohio Statehouse

March 6, 2015
But Adam Rissien, director of agricultural and water policy for the Ohio Environmental Council, said the compliance change creates a loophole for farmers who don't want to follow the law. Rissien said there are other ways to help farmers comply with the proposed new rules, such as phasing in requirements, that don't undermine the chief of the division of water and soil the ability to enforce the law.

Ohio House bill would ease fracking in state parks

March 4, 2015
Landis said park land would see “no surface disruption” because no wellheads would be drilled on state property, just horizontal wells more than a mile underground. The chairman said the Ohio Department of Transportation owns more land that could be subject to fracking than does the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Ohio rejects AEP request to put risk onto customers

February 26, 2015
The Ohio Environmental Council saw PUCO's decision as a victory for customers' wallets and air quality. "AEP's anti-environment, anti-competition, and anti-consumer plan would derail our path toward a cleaner energy future for Ohio. The PUCO determined this plan would provide no benefit to consumers and we hope the Commission will turn down similar requests to support old, dirty and outdated power plants from FirstEnergy and Duke Energy," said Trent Dougherty, managing director of Legal Affairs for the Ohio Environmental Council.