Interstate Pipeline Activities in WV & VA — Meetings & Other Information

From Elise Keaton, Greenbrier River Watershed Association, March 27, 2015

Mountain Valley Pipeline has announced two open houses to address the concerns of citizens along their proposed alternative routes:

Monday, April 6 (5:30-7:30 pm) Union Church of God Fellowship Center, Bud Ridge Road, Union, WV 24983.

Tuesday, April 7 (5:30-7:30 pm) Craig County High School Gymnasium, 25239 Craig’s Creek Road, New Castle, VA 24127

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The Forest Service has re-opened the comment period so people can submit comments about the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s revised application to conduct pipeline surveys in the Jefferson National Forest.

Comment deadline is April 2!

Click here to Comment Online

For more information about the proposal and how to send individual e-mails and letters click here.

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In the News

Area residents speak for, against pipelines at FERC meeting

Bridgeport, WV – Area residents both for and against the proposed 42-inch, 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline shared their thoughts with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) during a scoping meeting at Bridgeport High School’s auditorium Tuesday.

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Upcoming Meetings and Events –  www.mareproject.org

Saturday, March 28 at 1 pm- Community and information meeting at the Buckhannon American Legion 16 S Kanawha St, Buckhannon,WV 26201 (Upshur County) with presentations by the Greenbrier River Watershed Association and Lawyers with Appalachian Mountain Advocates.

Tuesday, March 31 at 6:00 pm – Preserve Monroe Meeting at the Library in Union, WV (Monroe County).

Friday and Saturday, April 3-4 – Join us in Rock Camp, WV (Monroe County) for ” FRACK-tose Intolerant Festival” as we use music and art to fight the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and fracking in the Virginias! This event is FREE to attend, though there is a $10 per person CAMPING FEE for those wishing to camp out on Pinky’s Farm! (Must be 18+ or accompanied by a PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN to camp).

Thursday, April 9 at 5:30 pm – Greenbrier County Board of Health public health and safety information gathering forum at Western Greenbrier Middle School (Greenbrier County).

Saturday, April 11 at 10am-4pm – WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Program at the Linwood Community Library in Slaty Fork, WV (Pocahontas County). Please pre-register for this event by contacting the Eastern Shale Gas Monitoring Coordinator Jake Lemon at 814-779-3965 or jlemon@tu.org by Tuesday April 7.

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If you appreciate the work we are doing, please consider a donation today!

Elise Keaton, elise@greenbrier.org

Greenbrier River Watershed Association, 120 W. Washington Street, Suite #4, Lewisburg, WV 24901

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State of WV Promotes Fracking

Fracking Approved Under Ohio River in Marshall  & Wetzel Counties, WV

From a Report by WTRF News 7 — Wheeling, March 25, 2015

For the first time ever, officials in West Virginia have come to an agreement to allow fracking under the Ohio River. It will happen on about 474 acres of land beneath the river in Marshall and Wetzel Counties.

The deal was reached between the state of West Virginia and Statoil. The company has agreed to pay an average price of $9,000 per acre. The state will receive 20 percent production royalties.

Leasing state-owned land for hydraulic fracturing is a new venture for the state. Many people said they are worried about the effects.

“To me, knowing what I know about fracking in general, you know it seems like it could affect the quality of the water,” said Patricia Thibeault of Moundsville.

Fish Creek resident Robin Hoyt agreed. “I think it’s a little dangerous myself. It could get into the water system, or different things if it would break and it scares me a little bit. All of the gas scares me a little bit because there is just so much of it and so many places now,” she said.

Department of Commerce spokeswoman Chelsea Ruby told the Associated Press that the state is still finalizing drilling agreements with Gastar Exploration and Noble Energy.

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Note: The State of WV should have learned lessons from the drilling & fracking in the Lewis Wetzel Wildlife Management Area where extensive damages were done to the public lands, the streams, the roads, etc.  Recall the following information posted by SkyTruth:

The Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Boom in Wetzel County, West Virginia

Extracted from an Article by Jim Sheehan, SkyTruth Blog, October 7, 2012

Much of Wetzel County is forest, and as such exemplifies some of the best that “Wild and Wonderful” West Virginia has to offer. I believe this forest has particularly high value, ecologically and for other reasons, and may be vulnerable to this type of disturbance.

With the help of SkyTruth, here I explore the recent development of Marcellus (and other unconventional drilling) in Wetzel County. To show the increase in drilling I used well information and geographic coordinates for 102 completed unconventional wells in Wetzel Co. from 2007-2011 that I obtained from the West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey’s “Pipeline-Plus” database.

According to Pipeline-Plus, most of the 102 wells drilled target the Marcellus formation (75 as of 2011), but I also included wells that drill other Devonian Period formations. I did this after zooming in on all the well sites in Google Earth and finding they share a scale of activity (large pads for example) different from the conventional oil and gas drilling long a part of this region. It turns out the other Devonian Period formations can also hold high-value natural gas (wet gas or super-rich gas).

While the state owns the surface, most of the subsurface rights are privately owned. Because the area is public, it’s easy to directly observe the activity (within reason!), which I’ve done since 2008. Wyatt Run is one of the area’s forested headwater streams that in particular interests me, since it was one of the most pristine but now has been degraded by new activity. The integrity of headwater streams is crucial to downstream water quality. Wyatt Run flows to Fishing Creek, which in turn flows to the Ohio River.

The side of the ridge top well pad and a new one that occurred after the 2011 NAIP aerial, have “slipped” substantially due to the steep, rather unstable terrain, and are causing heavily sedimentation in Wyatt Run. There are efforts to correct the problem, but unfortunately it appears to be difficult to stop the erosion. As of September 2012 the sedimentation continues, and there have even been substantial direct impacts to the stream itself. Clearly, better planning is needed during the siting of well pads to avoid situations like this, and the amount of activity, at least in this watershed, appears to be at odds with industry claims of a light environmental footprint.

With new well pads comes much associated infrastructure that can fragment previously continuous forest, and potentially have a negative effect on wildlife that prefer large, undisturbed forest patches. While some wildlife may benefit, new roads and pipelines can also act as corridors – bringing in undesirable or exotic plants and animals. The drilling and site preparation also result in noise and air pollution. I can say first-hand that recreation (hunting, wildlife viewing, etc.) is much reduced in the formerly popular Lewis Wetzel Wildlife Management Area, and heavy vehicle traffic and the dust and potholes it brings seriously disturb the local community.

In closing, given the rapid increase in drilling, it is clear that the impacts to the forests of Wetzel County can happen very quickly.  I wish to use what we can now see to increase awareness of environmental costs seldom heard about, and make them an important consideration in the development of this energy resource.

Jim Sheehan, GIS and remote-sensing specialist & PhD student at WVU, October 7, 2012

See also: www.FrackCheckWV.net

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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Concerns Told to FERC in Harrison County, WV

March 25, 2015

Update: U.S.  Federal Energy Regulatory Commission heard concerns on Atlantic Coast Pipeline project From an Article by Allen Clayton, WBOY, March 24, 2015 Clarksburg, WV — U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held its final meeting Tuesday evening at Bridgeport High School allowing residents to talk about their concerns of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Corky DeMarco, [...]

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Pipeline Accidents Happen! More to Come! How Big?

March 24, 2015

More on Natural Gas Pipelines in Central West Virginia Update by S. Tom Bond, Retired Chemistry Professor & Resident Farmer, Lewis County, WV,  March 24, 2015 A small number of responses to the article by Mr. Campbell and I prompt this response. What I heard was many advances are inherently dangerous and we accept the [...]

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WV Citizens Seek Dominion over Their Own Land

March 23, 2015

Update from the Appalachian Chronicle: ‘Then & Now from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Allegheny Plateau’ From an Internet Post by Michael Barrick, Appalachian Chronicle, March 22, 2015 Seeking Dominion over His Own Land: Randolph County landowner on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline route: ‘It’s my land; it must be my choice!’ Mill Creek, WV – [...]

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The State of Extraction: A Canadian Conference Primer

March 22, 2015

The State of Extraction: Corporate Imperatives, Public Knowledge and Global Struggles for Alternatives The State of Extraction is a free, public conference on Mining, Fossil Fuels and Common Resources and is being held on unceded Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver, B.C. from Friday, March 27th, to Sunday, March 29th, 2015 at Simon Fraser University – [...]

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WV Scoping Meetings for Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Elkins & Bridgeport

March 21, 2015

FERC is Requesting Comments and Scheduling Meeting for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,  Announcement, March 5, 2015 The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent out a notice late last month announcing that its staff will begin preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. That process includes a request for [...]

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Input Needed on Integrated Resource Plans for WV

March 20, 2015

Dear Friends in WV & elsewhere: Help make sure West Virginia’s electric utilities put their customers first. This year, our electric utilities will be writing long term plans, called Integrated Resource Plans, for how they will power West Virginia. The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) will issue its order for the utilities to begin [...]

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WV Looks for Sunshine to Forget Coal Mining & Shale Fracking

March 19, 2015

The Coal State of WV in Transition to Solar Energy Evell Meade of Kermit, WV, Greg Dotson of Parkersburg, WV and Mark Hunt of Charleston, WV, from left to right, carry a solar panel into a doctor’s office in Williamson, WV.  A group devoted to creating alternative energy jobs in Central Appalachia is building a [...]

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Large MVP & ACP Pipelines Urgently Challenge National Forests in WV & VA

March 18, 2015

U.S. Forest Service Extends Comment Period on Mountain Valley Pipeline Article by Jesse Wright, Associated Press, March 16, 2015 The U.S. Forest Service extended the comment period on whether portions of the Jefferson National Forest can be surveyed for a possible pipeline route. A special-use permit would be required before surveying could be done in [...]

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