Underground Injection Well
4:12 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

DEP Orders Fayette County Waste Pit Shutdown, Renews Well Permit

Brown liquid covers the outside of the waste pit on Danny Webb Construction's site. Residents have been concerned the pit is leaking for years.
Credit Jessica Lilly

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has renewed a permit for an underground injection well in Fayette County that accepts fracking water and other waste.

A public hearing in 2013 brought concerned residents and former workers of Danny Webb Construction, the owner of the site. Residents have been concerned about the site for years.

The DEP renewed the permit on February 6 for a class two UIC, or underground injection control disposal well owned by Danny Webb Construction. The permit allows the company to accept fluids from oil and gas exploration, development drilling, and production fluids for another five years, although during the renewal process, the company could accept the waste anyway.

The permit was granted with the condition that the company close a waste pit and no longer use it. The pit is located near the underground well and was used to help remove sediments from the waste before injecting underground.

The DEP ordered the pit closed after the operator failed to submit a plan to bring the pit up to code. Although the DEP did not find the pit to be leaking, officials say it needed to be upgraded.

Underground Injection Control Permit Reviewer for the DEP Office of Oil and Natural Gas James Peterson says the pit needs a leak detection system and a new liner.

DEP is asking DWC to submit an engineered plan to properly close the pit.

The renewal comes despite opposition letters from several national and local environmental groups.

This pit and the well have received waste from Pennsylvania, Virginia and other parts of West Virginia.

The DEP says there are 54 non-commercial and 17 commercial disposal wells in the state as of late last year.