Niles repeals anti-fracking law

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NILES, Ohio — The Community Bill of Rights has been repealed in Niles.

City council members took the action Wednesday after passing the original law last month in response to fears a well was going to be drilled along Robbins Avenue. That information turned out to be false.

The Community Bill of Rights would have prevented oil and gas drilling within the city limits, which is something council members said would have sent a wrong message to the drilling industry.

On Sept. 9, representatives from the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education program held an informational session on fracking so council could make an informed decision.

“We are shutting out commerce with the oil and gas industry. We can’t afford to do that. We need more of a tax base,” said Niles Councilman Stephen Papalas.

“It’s just a shame that council bought a lot of unenforceable promises from the industry,” said Niles resident and attorney Staughton Lynd.

Lynd would have liked to see council enter into a contract with each drilling company doing business in the city so they could be held accountable. Council did pass legislation that would ban drilling in residential neighborhoods.

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