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Environmental Group Says ODNR Discussed State Park Fracking Plan Longer than Agency Said

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An environmental group is rekindling a contentious issue regarding a communications strategy on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on state-owned land. Statehouse reporter Andy Chow has more.

Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm

The plan shows a possible alliance between the gas industry and its state regulatory agency.

Alison Auciello is with Food and Water Watch. She said the Ohio Department of Natural Resources continued to craft the strategy to promote fracking on state parks longer than originally reported.

ODNR claimed -- according to Auciello -- that it stopped its discussion on the plan in August 2012. But she says she has documents showing that correspondence continued into November of that year. The communications plan was first brought to light in February. Auciello said the strategy shows a disturbing link between public and private partners.

“Collusion in between the oil and gas industry and the administration," Auciello said. "The people who are charged with protecting us shouldn’t be looking at the folks that they’re supposed to be regulating as their allies.”

Gov. John Kasich’s administration says the plan was never implemented and ODNR stresses that Ohio does not frack on state land and won’t for the foreseeable future.

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