W.Va. incident should be wake-up call to Ohio

West Virginia legislators protect the coal industry to the point where 300,000 citizens of Kanawha, Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam, and Roane counties could not drink, bathe, or cook with their water because of a chemical called 4-methylcyclohexane. Do you suppose any of the citizens of these counties had any idea of what could happen if the coal industry got careless? They know now.

Ohio legislators protect the oil and gas industry to a point where “frackers” do not have to disclose what the names of the toxic chemicals are that they are pumping into our earth, and with a remarkable intensity. First responders and doctors are in the “need to know category.” What that means is that our first responders and doctors will know what the toxic chemicals are only in an emergency.

What has happened to our neighbors in West Virginia is a wake up call for Ohio. Asking the fracking industry to disclose what the toxic chemicals are that they are injecting into our earth is our responsibility. Asking our representative to encourage the state of Ohio to change the law so that frackers disclose what chemicals are being used in the fracking process is not unreasonable. Every other industry has to report toxic chemicals being use or being stored.

Our water supply, as things stand right now, is in jeopardy especially when someone in the fracking industry becomes careless. Are we willing to wait until an emergency occurs, and then ask the tough questions that our neighbors in West Virginia are asking on a daily basis? Get in touch with your legislators, and ask them to be proactive. Changing the law is the only answer.

Florence Beidler