LOUDONVILLE — About 40 people gathered at the Loudonville Public Library on Thursday evening for information about the controversial gas well drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, hydrofracking for short. The meeting was organized by Jo Shrimplin, who lives near Greer in Jefferson Township, and Deb Bickart of Loudonville.
The drilling method has come into public view in this area because of the natural gas that can be recovered from carbon-rich shale formations deep underground. Most of the attention has been on the Marcellus shale formation, which is being exploited in Pennsylvania but extends into Ohio, and the Utica shale, which also extends into Ohio. However, geologist Bill Reinthal of Jelloway, a senior lecturer for the Wayne College Division of Akron University, said he expects the attention in this area to be on the Ohio shale, another carbon-rich formation that is more accessible in the Mohican River valley area.
Much of the evening was spent on an explanation by Reinthal of the geology of the area and of the concerns that people should have about the drilling process. He wasn’t arguing for or against exploiting the formation or using hydrofracking, but setting forth the issues people should keep in mind if drilling operations come into this area.