OIL AND gas have ushered in an economic revival in Eastern Ohio. All of our local counties have felt the positive impact of the burgeoning industry. And if projections are right, the best is yet to come.
But the oil and gas boom does have a downside - that being safety concerns.
One such incident played out in late June in Monroe County. An explosion at a well site in Hannibal fortunately yielded no serious injuries, but much damage was still felt. Thousands of fish were killed in a nearby stream due to the toxic runoff.
There are no guarantees that a similar occurrence will not happen at any of our expanding drilling locations.
Harrison County officials, meanwhile, are looking to curb different safety concerns.
An oil and gas safety meeting is held each month in the county. We view that as a prudent move.
Much of the discussion has centered on increased traffic on county roads in conjunction with the drilling industry. Authorities have received a myriad of complaints about a host of roadway violations.
Those complaints have not fell on deaf ears.
Harrison County Sheriff Joe Myers plans to increase road patrols to try and stem the incidents of wide load violations.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol, meanwhile, is going to send its aviation unit up to do some reconnaissance work. It will target the busiest traffic areas, helping to map out enforcement procedures.
Authorities note that they are not profiling the oil and gas industry, but rather applying "fair and equal enforcement."
We embrace the financial windfall that oil and gas has brought to Eastern Ohio. We also understand the need for safety within the industry.
With proper planning and cooperation, there is room for both.