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Press Conference to be Held May 31 Outside Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District’s Annual Conservancy Court

Press Conference to be Held May 31 Outside Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District’s Annual Conservancy Court

GRAND RAPIDS, Ohio, May 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — FreshWater Accountability Project‘s members and advocates were once again refused the opportunity to testify to the annual Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District’s (MWCD’s) Conservancy Court hearing at the Tuscarawas County Courthouse in New Philadelphia on May 31 at 1 pm. The request to present to the full court in its yearly meeting was denied because, according to Judge James, “There are no environmental issues on the docket requiring court approval.” This does not stop the testimonies, scientific evidence and demands for better protections for water, public health and property values to be presented for documentation and the Conservancy Court’s consideration. The inability to present serious concerns to the full court also does not absolve the Conservancy Court of rendering judgments to fulfill its duties to oversee the Board of Trustees’ decisions to provide benefits to residents and taxpayers without incurring excessive costs and future liabilities. As a result of the growing body of evidence of harms caused by the fracking industry, the demand will again be made that the MWCD cease water sales as it did in the past until a full assessment of current and projected impacts caused by fracking’s water impacts is completed by independent experts to preserve valuable water resources for the future.

Without being heard by the Conservancy Court, experts and concerned citizens will provide important testimonies in a press conference in front of the courthouse while the Court is in session starting at 1 pm. Experts to testify include Dr. Ted Auch of FracTracker AllianceJohn Stolz, Ph.D, Director of the Center of Environmental Research and Education, Duquesne University, Julie Weatherington-Rice, Ph.D, Senior Scientist. Dr, Randi Pokladnik, impacted property owner, Attorney Jensen Silvis, and Zach Bollheimer, Executive Director of Buckeye Environmental Network. Testimonies will document the risks involved by leasing reservoirs for fracking and selling massive quantities of water, turning freshwater into toxic waste that can contaminate remaining water resources over time.

The Conservancy Court only meets once a year to ensure the MWCD operates in ways that, “…shall be exercised in such manner as to promote the welfare of the district, and of all inhabitants thereof, and to promote the safest and most economical and reasonable use of the waters thereof, to encourage and promote industries and agriculture…” The Conservancy Court should review decisions made by the MWCD’s Board of Trustees and executives for the public good. The MWCD’s decisions to lease reservoirs for fracking while selling water for a single, consumptive use to support the fracking industry has destroyed over a billion gallons of freshwater for profit and created a massive amount of toxic, radioactive waste.

All local, state, and national press and elected officials are urged to attend to hear evidence and have questions answered as concerned citizens and experts testify that greater oversight is needed to protect valuable freshwater supplies and public health, to protect taxpayers and to maintain property values in the face of the cumulative impacts caused by the underregulated fracking industry and the toxic, radioactive waste the industry generates that is falsely labeled as “non-hazardous” for cheap disposal.

The MWCD is huge, occupying 20% of Ohio’s land mass with taxing authority and the obligation to protect the region’s resources and economic worth. The Conservancy Court is tasked to enforce this obligation, protecting taxpayers and water ratepayers so they don’t have to pay for long-term costs caused by the MWCD’s short-term profiteering when the fracking boom becomes a bust.

Contact: Lea Harper, Managing Director
[email protected], (419) 450-7042

SOURCE FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/press-conference-to-be-held-may-31-outside-muskingum-watershed-conservancy-districts-annual-conservancy-court-302158426.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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