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News Release

March 17, 2014

New report from Ohio University’s Voinovich School highlights local impact of shale activity 

On Mon., Feb. 24, the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs will release the findings of its much anticipated Ohio Shale Development Community Impact Survey. The accelerated pace of unconventional oil and gas (shale) development in eastern Ohio has opened up many opportunities and created many questions about the future of the region.

During summer of 2013, the Voinovich School distributed more than 500 surveys to local elected officials across 17 counties experiencing the majority of shale activity and development in Ohio. The survey assesses the impact of shale development within 17 counties in eastern Ohio, with a focus on population, housing, public safety, infrastructure, environment, local employment, area business activity, and economic development. Report findings include:

  • Which shale development activities are being reported across the 17 counties surveyed.
  • The influence that shale development has had on population and how that has impacted local housing and public safety.
  • How shale development activities have impacted local infrastructure and environment.
  • Some of the ways that shale development has altered employment of area residents.
  • The influence of shale development on the local economy.

As a major research institution located within the state’s Utica and Marcellus shale plays, Ohio University has a responsibility to address the complex economic, social, environmental and technical questions associated with shale development in Ohio.

“Shale development is having a major impact on the communities of eastern Ohio,” says Scott Miller, director of the School’s Consortium for Energy, Economics & the Environment (CE3). “No one knows better the full effect of this industry on local communities than the target of this survey – the elected officials charged with serving this region: its mayors, county commissioners, township trustees and city managers. The results of this survey will provide a baseline for further analysis and community discussions for years to come.”

The report will be the first wave of data releases in what is anticipated to be a long-term look at the impact of shale development activities in eastern Ohio. The Voinovich School is seeking to build collaborative relationships to assist in this undertaking. Interested foundations, organizations, and agencies should contact Robin Stewart, senior project manager, at for more information.

Informational webinars for the public and media

Report findings will be discussed in depth during a series of complimentary webinars hosted by the Voinovich School on Monday, February 24, 2014.

  • A public webinar will be presented from 11a.m. - 12p.m.
  • A media-only session will be presented from 12:30-1 p.m.

Pre-registration by the public and the media is required for the events. Additional information and webinar registration can be found at


Contact: Scott Miller at 740-593-0827 or

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