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Ohio Fracking Industry Blocked From State's Largest Contained Watershed

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NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio (AP) — Officials overseeing reservoirs in Ohio's largest contained watershed have decided to halt water sales to oil and gas drillers in response to environmental concerns as they await a water-availability study.

Environmentalists and others raised concerns about the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District selling water to drillers. It's used in the process of hydraulic fracturing, which injects millions of gallons of chemical-laced water into the earth at high pressure to free gas.

Conservancy district executive director John Hoopingarner says it's in the public's interest to stop the water sales until the district updates its policy on the matter.

The Ohio Environmental Council praised the decision, saying more research and public comment is needed.

The district plans to honor its one previously approved sale of 11 million gallons from a Harrison County lake.

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