Panelists at KSU drill deep on impact of oil, gas search

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Panelists at KSU drill deep on impact of oil, gas search

Times Reporter – Concerns about protecting the water supply and long-term impact of a natural gas and oil drilling boom in the Tuscarawas Valley region dominated discussion Wednesday during a rural development roundtable held by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Brown, D-Avon, made the third stop on his “Grown in Ohio” Tour, meeting with government, economic development, education, community and business leaders to hear their concerns. The session at Kent State University at Tuscarawas lasted more than an hour and included 22 people from 10 counties, with about 30 others in the audience.

“Protecting our water and the environment are the top issues we’re always hearing,” said Tuscarawas County Commissioner Chris Abbuhl.

He said that state officials always point to laws enacted under Ohio Senate Bill 165 as providing some of the nation’s strongest enforcement tools.

“Nothing is 100-percent guaranteed,” Abbuhl said. “We want to be cautious, so that nothing is missed.”

Brown asked New Philadelphia Mayor Michael Taylor, a fellow Democrat, what he’s hearing when meeting with other mayors in the region about mining’s potential impact on city services.

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