COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An eastern Ohio man who uses a biblical reference and a statement against "poisoned waters" on billboards opposing gas-drilling wastewater wells faces a legal threat from the wells' operator.
Austin, Texas-based Buckeye Brine alleges in a July lawsuit that billboards paid for by Michael Boals of Coshocton (kuh-SHAHK'-tuhn) contain false and defamatory attacks against its deep-injection sites. They dispose of contaminated wastewater from oil and gas drilling.
Boals refuses to pull the billboards. The 55-year-old says stating that the wells "pump poisoned waters" underfoot is true. An environmental legal group argues that quoting prophecy from Revelation — on men dying from waters "made bitter" — is Boals' free-speech right.
The company says its wells are safe and legal and the messages are misleading. It's taken its complaint to the sign owner