Drilling planned next to a school in Ohio

Seagull Development Corporation is under criminal investigation for tampering and forgery of a lease application in Mayfield Village, Ohio. News reports are that two homeowners accused Seagull of forging their signatures on a lease, and that the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation completed a preliminary investigation that concluded the signatures were possibly traced by another person.

Citizens complained about intimidation and misrepresentations at a city Council meeting earlier this year.

Now this same company is applying for a permit to drill a well over the town's border in Mayfield Heights, the town next door, less than 300 feet away from a middle school. State officials are processing the application because they say that there is no state law allowing them to deny a permit based on suspicion of a crime.

The school superintendent is opposed to the well being drilled so close to school buildings and 175 feet from a stream that is used for the kids' environmental studies.

Last year the Ground Water Protection Council published a review of the regulations of 27 states. For 14 of those states, it was unclear whether or not they had authority to deny a permit for any reasons other than an incomplete or insufficient permit application. States, and the federal government, need to have and use the authority to deny, or postpone consideration of, permits for reasons other than incomplete information.