OU Hosts Outreach Forum On Fracking

Christa Lamendola

Updated Fri, Nov 9, 2012 9:30 am

Pizza, Ohio University and fracking were all on the menu Thursday during an Outreach Forum focusing on injection wells and hydraulic fracturing.

The Patton College of Education hosted the lunch hour forum.

Panelists touched on a number of topics including the number of active and inactive wells in Ohio, the impact of the process on water and local farmers, the land Ohio University owns and which plots are potential sites for fracking.

According to Nicolette Dioguardi, deputy general counsel for Ohio University, OU is currently classifying its land into four categories under House Bill 133.

Class 1 properties include land that has no deed restrictions limiting the exploration of oil and gas.

Class 2 includes land owned by a state college or university or land owned by another state agency that limits or prohibits exploration of oil and gas.

Class 3 is land too small to be considered for fracking, and Class 4 is land subject deed restrictions, limiting exploration and drilling.

Dioguardi says most of the land Ohio University owns should be classified as Class 2 or 4.

“Ohio University has big chunks of land: we have Hubbardsville Farm, five regional campuses that have a substantial amount of vacant land. So, we're at risk to have companies come in over this fracturing business,” said Nicolette Dioguardi, deputy general counsel for Ohio University.

Of all the university-owned land, Belmont County is thought to have the highest potential for hydraulic fracturing.