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ODNR Defends Drilling Permit Against Another Local Challenge

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has filed an appeal in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas challenging a decision by the state's oil and gas commission to revoke a permit it issued last month.

The Ohio Oil and Gas Commission, which reviews decisions made by ODNR, heard an appeal from North Royalton, OH, which argued that the permit failed to consider the city's concerns about safety when it was issued. ODNR approved the permit for Ohio-based Cutter Oil Co., which wanted to drill a conventional well in the city, where development would have utilized parts of two streets.

ODNR's appeal is a rare one, as the commission typically rules to uphold its decisions. But North Royalton officials said if the appeal is upheld, it could create a precedent that would force ODNR to consider similar safety issues each time it issues a permit.

ODNR filed a notice of appeal earlier this month with few details about its case and now has 30 days from the time of its filing to submit a brief outlining its position. ODNR does not comment on pending litigation.

The case is just the latest to deal with ODNR and municipalities across the state (see Shale Daily, July 28, 2014). It also comes at time when the Ohio Supreme Court is soon expected to rule on a challenge to the agency's exclusive authority to permit and regulate oil and gas drilling under a state law that limits local authority and the ability to restrict drilling (see Shale Daily, Dec. 30, 2013).  

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