Jessica Lilly Published

DEP Environmental Quality Board to Hear Concerns About Lochghelly Waste Permit/Site


On Thursday the DEP Environmental Quality Board is expected to hear arguments from Tom Rist and the Rist Law Office is representing the Natural Resource Defense Council, WV Surface Owners’ Rights Organization, Plateau Action Network, and citizen Brad Keenan.

The groups are concerned about the permitting process of an underground injection well as well as the oil and gas waste disposal site in Fayette County.

According to a press release, the appeal challenges the DEP’s revocation order of a UIC permit issued for Danny Webb Construction, Inc. Back in March the permit for the well was revoked by the DEP.  The groups say that while the revocation noted the problems, the issue is not directly addressed and no deadline was given.

The groups believe that the wells, are a hazard to public safety and fail to protect fresh water resources. The stream adjacent to the well site is a tributary of Wolf Creek, which flows into New River. Critics worry this could affect the drinking water of Fayetteville and surrounding areas.

A separate environmental group Downstream Strategies analyzed data of samples taken near the site. The data revealed that compounds of oil and gas waste that were found in the pits were also found around the site, but was inconclusive.

During the permit renewal process, the DEP said the company was allowed to accept waste. The groups disagree and say the operation of the well violates both state and federal law including the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act and Groundwater Protection Act.

The hearing is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Thursday at the West Virginia DEP office in Charleston.