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Sun Aug 4, 2013, 06:03 PM

Protest filed against anti-fracking ballot measure

The Athens Messenger, Athens, Ohio

Protest filed against anti-fracking ballot measure
Attorney calls it a recipe for lawsuits
By Jim Phillips

A local attorney, acting on behalf of seven Athens residents, filed a protest Friday against a citizens' initiative measure that aims to ban "fracking" for oil and gas in and around the city.

The so-called "Athens Community Bill of Rights and Water Supply Protection Ordinance" has collected the needed number of signatures to go on the ballot in the city in November, but critics have questioned the legality of a local initiative that seems to usurp the powers of state law, and would extend city enforcement powers 20 miles outside city limits.

On Friday, attorney Robert R. Rittenhouse filed a protest of the initiative with the Athens County Board of Elections, on behalf of city residents Eleanor Barstow, Peter G. Couladis, Michael J. Hunter, Carl J. Denbow, William A. Lavelle, Patricia Grueser and Roger Grueser.

Rittenhouse said the protest aims at derailing a potential new city law that its critics believe will be almost a guaranteed lawsuit waiting to happen if it succeeds at the polls. The law bans fracking and related activities such as wastewater injection wells in the city and its "jurisdiction," which would extend beyond city limits.... MORE

(Within the article there is also a map of the area in question.)

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