• 46°

Public hearing set on WNF fracking

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on requests to allow fracking inside the southern portions of Wayne National Forest.

Public comments will be accepted from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19 at Ohio University Southern in the Collins Center Bowman Auditorium.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has acquired more than 241,000 acres for Wayne National Forest and owns the mineral rights on 41 percent of the land in the forest.

The BLM is considering releasing the mineral rights for a 31,900-acre area within the forest.

Fracking involves drilling into the ground, then directing a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals at the rock below, which releases the gas inside.

Fracking has been the subject of controversy, which its backers cite the economic gains it can bring to an area, while its detractors warn of environmental risks, including ground and surface water contamination and air pollution.