Fracking

Industrial Strength: How the U.S. Government Hid Fracking's Risks to Drinking Water

Nov 20, 2017
Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

Developers of a proposed natural gas pipeline are suing hundreds of landowners in two states to gain rights of way granted by federal regulations.

Mountain Valley Pipeline lawyers filed federal court complaints in Charleston, West Virginia and Roanoke, Virginia to obtain easements through eminent domain rights, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Thursday.

They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people's yards. Like spokes on a wheel, they'd spread from Appalachia to markets in every direction.

Together these new and expanded pipelines — comprising 2,500 miles of steel in all — would double the amount of gas that could flow out of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The cheap fuel will benefit consumers and manufacturers, the developers promise.

West Virginia Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice joined energy workers from across West Virginia for a rally at the Capitol Tuesday morning to promote the natural gas industry in the state.

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

A proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina would have adverse environmental impacts, but most could be avoided, minimized or mitigated, according to an analysis federal regulators released this week.

Residual waste truck in Pennsylvania.
Iris Marie Bloom

Fayette County commissioners are appealing a federal court ruling that rendered the West Virginia county's ban on fracking waste disposal invalid.

The Register-Herald in Beckley reports that Appalachian Mountain Advocates filed the notice of appeal on behalf of the commission with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week.

  

 On this West Virginia Morning, we hear a collaborative, investigative story on issues related to hydraulic fracturing from Glynis Board, the Center for Public Integrity and the new regional journalism collaborative, Ohio Valley ReSource. We'll also hear from Ohio Valley ReSource's managing editor Jeff Young about the project, what they hope to accomplish and how they'll get there.

Federal Court Strikes Down Fayette Frack Waste Ban

Jun 13, 2016
Fayette County Courthouse
A.E. Crane, National Scenic Byways Online

A federal judge has ruled that the Fayette County Commission does not have the right to ban frack waste. Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia ruled in favor of EQT, a petroleum and gas corporation.

natural gas, fracking
wikimedia

 Those involved in a West Virginia University fracking project are praising its success after the first year.

The Exponent Telegram reports WVU began the Marcellus Shale Energy Environmental Laboratory project last June.

On this West Virginia Morning, we take a look at the Republican presidential candidates and their stances on fracking and the environment. We also get a report from Clark Davis about a soon-to-be-abandoned CSX building in Huntington and some of the plans for the space.

On this West Virginia Morning ,we take a look at a Supreme Court ruling on campaign financing and Reid Frazier brings us a report on the current stances of the democratic presidential candidates.

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

A team of independent science advisers to the Environmental Protection Agency are criticizing a report that studied the effects of hydraulic fracturing practices on drinking water. The Science Board Advisers are seeking clarification.

natural gas, fracking
wikimedia

West Virginia has received $18 million so far from leases granted to state officials to drill for oil and natural gas below state wildlife management areas and waterways, including beneath the Ohio River.

But as natural gas prices stay low, state officials say they've only received up-front checks so far, and no royalties for unearthing the resources from the deep shale deposits. No companies with state leases have begun extracting gas, as far as state Department of Commerce officials know.

Drill cuttings dumped at West Virginia landfill.
Bill Hughes

There are lots of federal regulations governing what businesses can legally dump into water, the ground, or release into the air. But the gas industry is getting around a lot of those regulations. The oil and gas industry enjoys exemptions from seven federal laws, including one that is supposed to protect human health from the hazards of waste disposal. Other states have passed their own laws regulating this waste to compensate. But it’s a looser system in West Virginia.

Drill cuttings dumped at West Virginia landfill.
Bill Hughes

In the growing wake of the natural gas boom, West Virginia has been trying to figure out what exactly to do with waste generated by the oil and gas industry. 

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

Antero Resources, an oil and gas company that operates in north central West Virginia, has announced intentions to build a wastewater treatment complex in Doddridge County to support its hydraulic fracturing efforts.

Antero signed an agreement with Veolia Water Technologies to build the facility. The company anticipates the complex with be able to treat 60,000 barrels of water per day.

The $275 million facility located off of Route 50 on Gum Run Rd. will allow Antero to clean flowback water used in the fracking process enough that it can be reused on other wells rather than disposed of in an injection well.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

The West Virginia Royalty Owner’s Association will begin a round of public meetings across the state next week to talk about a piece of controversial legislation.

The meetings held across West Virginia will focus on forced pooling or lease unitization. It’s a practice in the natural gas industry where gas companies parcel of groups of land in an attempt to drill a well.

Under current state law, if a royalty owner refuses to sell their rights to the company, it can’t drill the gas well, but lawmakers attempted to change that during the last legislative session. 

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

New statistics show that production in the Northern Panhandle natural gas fields has nearly tripled in two years.

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reports that West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey statistics show drillers pumped nearly three times as much natural gas in the region during 2014 compared to 2012. 

en.wikipedia.org

State regulators are investigating a pipeline fire at a drilling pad in Tyler County.

The fire occurred early Friday at Jay Bee Oil & Gas' Gorby Marcellus Shale drilling pad in the Big Run area.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Jake Glance says there was a rupture in the natural gas pipeline on the pad. He tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that the fire burned for about an hour before it was extinguished.

University of Kentucky Geological Survey

Members of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition gathered the public Monday night in Westmoreland, near Huntington, to discuss the Rogersville Shale.

The forum was designed to inform the public of a newly discovered shale formation, the Rogersville Shale. The shale is concentrated in Calhoun, Roane, Jackson, Kanawha, Putnam, Lincoln, Wayne and Cabell counties in West Virginia, but also extends into Kentucky. Dianne Bady is with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

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