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Youngstown Council Approves Proposed Ordinance Banning Fracking

Youngstown city council approved a citizens group’s charter-amendment proposal to ban fracking in Youngstown and placed the proposal on the May 7 primary election ballot.  Backed by over 3,800 signed petitions, the group, Frack Free Mahoning Valley, appears to have the required number of signatures, and therefore the Youngstown city council was required to approve the ordinance to be placed on the ballot.  Other cities throughout Ohio, including Niles, Cincinnati, Yellow Springs and Mansfield already have voted to ban oil and gas extraction and/or injection wells in their communities.  Regardless of the outcome of the May 7th vote, the city council and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources asserts that any such municipal ordinance is preempted by state law, and accordingly any such ordinance would likely be unenforceable.