From The Columbus Dispatch

“Fracking” opponents wanted a public hearing to protest a proposed waste-disposal well in Athens County. What they will get from the state is an “open-house style” meeting tonight that is not open to people carrying signs, banners or video cameras.

Those who plan to protest must do so in what the state calls a “free-speech” zone outside the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ offices in Athens.

Either way, expect some fireworks.

Heather Cantino, a member of the Athens County Fracking Action Network, said nearly a hundred residents demanded a public hearing to voice their objections to the proposed D.T. Atha, Inc. disposal well in Rome Township.

An open house, she said, doesn’t give residents an opportunity to have their comments recorded on the record before the state grants a disposal-well permit.

“It’s a charade,” Cantino said of the meeting. “This outlines how hard they are trying to squelch democracy and free speech.”

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