COLUMBUS — State Senator Michael Skindell and State Representative Robert Hagan today introduced identical companion bills to fix the medical right-to-know and ‘gag-order’ provisions of Ohio’s new hydraulic fracturing law. The measure, signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich on June 11, contained provisions allowing drilling companies to hide chemical information from doctors, nurses, emergency responders, medical technologists, and medical researchers. It also put a gag order on medical professionals who do obtain this chemical information.
The bills, S.B. 379 and H.B. 596, were introduced in response to a petition by 371 of these medical professionals across Ohio urging Ohio lawmakers to fix the new state law.
The petition, circulated by Ohio Citizen Action, reads as follows:
As a medical professional, I urge Ohio legislators to fix the problems in the new hydraulic fracturing (fracking) law, Senate Bill 315, that -
- Make it nearly impossible for us to get crucial information about toxic chemicals used in oil and gas drilling
- Prevent us from protecting public health by prohibiting disclosure of this information
(List of petition signers, see http://ohiocitizenaction.nationbuilder.com/medics?page=1).
— press release, Ohio Citizen Action