Judge allows Ohio fracking lawsuit to proceed

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A couple who sued to try to stop gas drilling around a state-owned lake in eastern Ohio won an early victory in court.

A judge ruled that the Guernsey County couple has legal standing to move forward with a lawsuit that seeks to stop hydraulic fracturing — known as fracking — around and beneath Seneca Lake.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Leatra Harper and Steven Janstro sued in October after the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District approved a $40.3 million lease with a Colorado-based drilling company for underground mineral rights to 6,400 acres.

The decision allows the lawsuit to proceed against the district, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the drilling company, Antero Resources.

The site is in Guernsey and Noble counties, about 80 miles east of Columbus.