Mothers Against Drilling In Our Neighborhoods, or MADION, is a group formed by Ohio mothers whose sole mission is to preserve the health and safety of their children from the harmful effects of drilling for gas and oil in their neighborhoods. They’ve come together because they choose to do something to stop the unsafe drilling for gas and oil in the neighborhoods. “I have already been evacuated from my house because gas was leaking from a well drilled 600 feet from my home,” states Michelle Aini, co-founder of MADION.”My six-year old son and I left our home for two weeks during the drilling and fracking phases.” Michelle also notes that their schools do not disclose to parents upon registration that there are gas and oil wells on the premises. After researching the school her son was to attend for kindergarten, Michelle found out a gas and oil well was just 300 feet from the school. Also, the elementary school her son was suppose to attend this year has a gas and oil well located 600 feet from the school. There is a documented accident at this school for which oil and fumes were leaking out while kids were on the playground. “Some parents didn’t even know the well was there.”
What has members of MADION befuddled is how all this drilling is allowed so close to their homes and schools—90 wells in a 13.1 square mile city. Their local unit of government didn’t want these wells outside of their designated industrial areas. However, Governor Taft signed Ohio House Bill 278 that has stripped each local unit of government of their authority to govern oil and gas drilling. What doesn’t add up for members of MADION is that Home Rule is a Charter right and the Charter is guaranteed by the Ohio Constitution. So, how can the State abolish the ability of her community to exercise their constitutional right to Home Rule? “Our basic civil rights of clean air, water and a safe environment have been stripped from us by the State of Ohio,” stated Michelle. “We voted where we wanted residential, business, and industrial areas to be located and the state government is taking that away from us.”
Moving forward, members of MADION are determined to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech and continuing efforts to keep their children and community safe. MADION’s newest initiative is to pass a Bill of Rights in their community in an attempt to gain back some of their rights. From all of us at Freshwater Future we want to say “thank you” to the members of MADION and groups around the region who are fighting for their rights!