How Ohio communities can handle pluses, minuses of oil and gas work

A July 27 event at Ohio State will look at how Ohio communities can experience the most benefits — and fewest problems — from oil and gas work in their areas.

Community Development in Energy Host Communities” is a panel discussion on the impacts of oil and gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing and related activities on public services, local government revenue, infrastructure and the environment.

Presented by the Environmental Professionals Network, the event is from 7:15 to 9:15 a.m. in the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, on Ohio State’s campus in Columbus.

The network is a statewide professional group coordinated by Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. The school is part of CFAES.

Ohio is in the midst of an oil and gas boom, mostly in its eastern half, thanks to the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. The state also has more than 200 underground injection wells for disposing of oil and gas drilling waste, according to a map by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and despite some controversy over environmental violations, is seeing the ongoing construction of the Rover natural-gas pipeline across more than a dozen northern counties.

Speakers from OH, MT, PA and SD

The speakers on the panel will be four community development experts from Ohio, Montana, Pennsylvania and South Dakota. All four states have significant oil and gas activity.

The event will also serve as part of the program of the 2017 Energy Impacts Symposium, a first-of-its-kind meeting of energy-related social science experts from the U.S. and other countries, which is July 26-27 at the same location.

The panel speakers will be:

  • Paul Lachapelle, associate professor and Extension community development specialist at Montana State University.
  • Dave Messersmith, Extension educator at Pennsylvania State University and a member of its Marcellus Shale Education Team.
  • Myra L. Moss, associate professor and Extension community development educator with CFAES’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension.
  • Paul Thares, community development field specialist with South Dakota State University Extension.

Sean Logan, JD, president of Sean Logan & Associates, will give opening remarks and will moderate the panel. He is a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, a former director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and a former chief of conservation for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.

How to register

Registration for the event is $10, includes breakfast, and is open to members of the network and the public. Details, including links to online registration and a free parking pass, are at For more information, contact David Hanselmann, a lecturer in the school and the network’s coordinator, at

Also ahead in the network’s breakfast series is “Conservation on Farms: Tackling Issues, Seizing Opportunities” on Aug. 15 and “Agriculture and Water Quality Issues: OSU Research and Agency Initiatives Guide Farmers’ Solutions” on Sept. 12. Details are on the network’s website at

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