Amid a "gold rush" to tap oil and natural-gas reserves, Ohio lawmakers approved drilling rules that environmentalists say were watered down to let companies keep secret some of the toxic chemicals they use.
The Republican-dominated House of Representatives voted 73-19 today to approve the bill sought by Republican Governor John Kasich that governs hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
It would require that companies test water within 1,500 feet of proposed wells, report the fluids and chemicals used in drilling and track wastewater injected into disposal wells. The Senate passed the bill May 15 and must now approve House changes before sending it to Kasich to sign.
"It's our goal through this legislation to make sure we address this expansion in an appropriate and responsible manner,”" Representative Peter Stautberg, the Republican chairman of the Public Utilities Committee, said during debate before today’s vote in Columbus.