Mothers Against Drilling protests court decision outside Broadview Heights City Hall

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BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio — About a dozen demonstrators milled outside the Broadview Heights City Hall Monday night, holding up signs that read “Ban Fracking Now” and “Communities Not Corporations” to protest oil and gas drilling in Broadview Heights.

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael K. Astrab last month overturned Broadview Heights voter-approved oil and gas drilling ban, citing state law which gives Ohio the “sole and exclusive authority” to permit, locate, space and regulate oil and gas wells.”

A mix of exasperated neighbors and students from Oberlin College turned out to protest the decision, as well as a February Ohio Supreme Court decision against the city of Munroe Falls, which found Beck Energy Corp. must follow only state rules.

Protestors, including members of Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhood, chitchatted worriedly about how a new wave of drilling could affect their community, while waving posters at passing cars. Many attended the City Council meeting in the evening to vent frustration over the judge’s ruling.

Mothers Against Drilling filed an additional lawsuit in December to fight drilling in Broadview Heights.

Cindy Bujackowski, who has lived in Broadview Heights for 30 years, recalled when the drilling equipment rolled in a few houses down.

“There’s no business for manufacturing to be in a suburban neighborhood area — near housing, near playgrounds and near ball fields,” she said.

Bujackowski remembered the constant noise and the spotlights outside for nearly a week. It got so loud that she couldn’t hear her doorbell, or sit outside and enjoy a sunny evening.

“If we sat on our deck we couldn’t hear each other talk,” she said.

Jackson Kusiak, a senior environment studies and politics major at Oberlin, said the state have the shouldn’t overrule cities who don’t want drilling in their area.

“We do believe communities have the right to say no,” he said.

Michelle Aini lived in Broadview Heights for 14 years before recently moving to North Royalton.

“How can an industrial business creep into a residential area and residents can have no say?” Aini said.

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