Associated Press Published

W.Va. Environmentalists Unhappy with Fracking Bill


West Virginian environmentalists are concerned about a bill to overturn tonnage caps for landfills accepting gas well drill cuttings from hydraulic fracturing operations.

The bill passed both legislative chambers in special session and now awaits the governor’s approval.
Delegate Stephen Skinner, who voted against the bill passed Friday, calls it a Band-Aid on a very serious problem.

The bill lifts tonnage caps for drilling waste, mandates monitors for radioactivity, and requires the DEP to study leaching.
Last year the DEP allowed landfills to accept the waste beyond monthly tonnage limits until this June.
Several environmental groups oppose the bill. The West Virginia Environmental Council says municipal landfills aren’t designed to handle the sheer bulk of the drilling waste or the possibility they contain heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, and radioactive materials.