Fracking Wells Blamed for Polluted Water; Inspectors Overwhelmed

by admin on November 23, 2010

This article highlights drilling inspection problems in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  West Virginia has been facing the same issue, according to Randy Huffman, head of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“We simply do not have the number of people necessary to do the job,” Huffman said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s easy to issue a permit. What I think we’re doing is issuing permits faster than we have the ability to keep up with them on the ground.”

There is debate about where additional funding to pay for inspectors should come from. What do you think?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Nuchims November 23, 2010 at 3:42 pm

EPA is the fall back for environmental issues. If the State of West Virginia cannot come up with the funds it’s the responsibility of the DEP as an agency and the State’s leaders to ask for help. West Virginians pay a heavy state income tax as well as a hefty sales tax with little to show in the way career jobs that are safe and not seasonal based.


Deb Fulton November 24, 2010 at 12:32 am

Let’s make this a multiple choice question for simplification. “Additional funding to pay for an expanded WVDEP workforce, including inspectors and administrators and staff to provide oversight over 50,000 gas wells should come from….”
A. Industry via fees upfront
B. Industry via severance fees which we may not collect until the gas is actually produced
C. Your pocket, taxpayer


Kathleen Gannon November 24, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Good Day! I think that this is a very serious, environmental issue that requires whatever funding is needed to effectively inspect the wells, and assess the potentially harmful impacts of resultant, polluted water. I think the companies who are performing the work, should pay for the required inspections. Sincerely, Kathleen Gannon, Naples, FL


Nancy Dickinson November 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm

If permits are being issed at a rate faster than the agency is able to keep up with them, then the solution seems simple. Only issue permits in numbers which can be managed. If that is not possible, I like Deb Fultons ‘A’ suggestion – generate additional revenues needed to maintain control via up front industry fees.


Sheila Crockett November 30, 2010 at 2:54 pm

I live in Doddridge Co. WV, I am completely surrounded by gas wells now, it is scary, we have started a water shed group, Doddridge Co. Water Shed Association, we have had only two meetings, I feel good about what we have accomplished so far.


Jane Jones December 4, 2010 at 8:25 pm

The marcellus shale gas drilling industry CAN CREATE EVEN MORE JOBS! Yes, jobs like inspection, oversight, in the environmental sectors. There are people who NEED JOBS! But the oil & gas industry DOESN’T WANT NEW JOBS? Well, no, not THOSE jobs. Hurry and collect the money up front now. They want to drill, drill, drill since right now they can get away with criminal behavior since there are so few people watching.


Tammy OHagan December 13, 2010 at 11:16 am

I agree with several of the comments made here. The gas companies are the ones making the huge profits while residents of WV are barely able to put food on their tables! We already pay our fair share of taxes and its an unfair burden to expect taxpayers to foot the bill for the additional inspectors. The inspectors should be hired by using funds collected from the Industry via fees upfront.


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