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