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University to host six public forums on hydraulic fracturing

First discussion is today in Chillicothe

Ohio University's President's Advisory Council on Sustainability Planning (PACSP) and the Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee (EECC) will host six public forums to discuss the issue of hydraulic fracturing in the coming weeks.

President Roderick J. McDavis said the forums are part of a plan to gather input about hydraulic fracturing from members of all six campuses. The Athens forum will feature a panel discussion.

Here is the schedule for the public forums:

  • Chillicothe Campus – Monday, March 12, 2 p.m. – Bennett Hall 145
  • Southern Campus – Tuesday, March 13, 2 p.m. – Bowman Auditorium
  • Eastern Campus – Wednesday, March 14, 2 p.m. – Shannon Hall 219
  • Lancaster Campus – Thursday, March 15, 2 p.m. – Brasee Hall 414
  • Zanesville Campus – Monday, March 26, 2 p.m. – Elson Hall 176
  • Athens Campus - Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m. – Baker University Center Theatre

Annie Laurie Cadmus, Ohio University director of sustainability, said the forums will serve an important function.

"These forums are occurring as a way to offer members of the campus community with the opportunity to learn about the potential leasing of oil and gas rights on state-owned property such as Ohio University campuses," Cadmus said. "We hope to be able to provide attendees with the resources necessary to make an informed opinion on the matter. We will then be asking members of the campus community to provide us with their opinions so we can offer the Ohio University Board of Trustees with a well-rounded overview of the insights of our campus constituents."

Jim Fonseca, Ohio University interim executive dean of regional higher education, said he will join the appropriate dean at each regional campus forum to collect feedback to take back to the trustees.

"This will be a great opportunity for members of each community to offer input to the board members about hydraulic fracturing on their campus," Fonseca said.

McDavis added that information from the Environmental Studies Advisory Board's recent resolution on hydraulic fracturing at Ohio University also will be among the materials presented to the Board of Trustees in April.