Columbus -- Gov. John Kasich said the state may need to change permitting laws to prevent people who illegally dump oilfield waste into storm sewers from continuing their Ohio operations.
The governor offered the response to a question from a reporter asking whether the individuals involved in an incident in the Youngstown area should serve jail time if found guilty of the crime.
"We don't want people dumping fracking fluid in a storm water [drain]," Kasich told an audience of newspapermen and women in Columbus Feb. 13. "When they do, we're going to go after them. We have tough regulations, good regulations, probably the best in the country, so that if we do have mistakes … the public will know that we've been on top of it."
He added, "The energy industry did not write the regulations. They were written with the best safety of the environment in mind …"
Kasich spoke at the Ohio Newspapers Association's annual conference in suburban Columbus, outlining his biennial budget proposal and defending the school funding, sales tax and other reforms included in it.
He also talked about Ohio's growing energy sector, bolstered by horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, activities in eastern Ohio and about a recent dumping incident in the Youngstown area.