U.M.R.A. Hosts Annual Meeting in West Virginia for Army Corps of Engineers

by Duane Nichols on October 26, 2011

The annual Morgantown meeting of the US Army Corps of Engineers was held at the Morgantown Airport today, hosted by the Upper Monongahela River Association. This meeting spanned over three hours and included a number of talks that relate to Marcellus shale development. Concerns for excessive water withdrawals, impacts of chemicals in the streams, contamination of drinking water, and problems of accumulated salts in the Monongahela River were presented and discussed.
.   .   .   .   . 
James Guttman operates a river tanker supply system for diesel fuel, using 400,000 gallon tanker barges which dock at Star City. He suggested that drilling and frack waste water be shipped via river barge to reduce the truck traffic and resultant road damage. Paul Ziemkiewicz of the WVU Water Research Institute said that the Chloride to Sulfate ratio in waste water can be used to determine the approximate proportions coming from coal mines versus Marcellus well operations, the latter wastewater being high in Chlorides.
.   .   .   .   .
Rose Reilly of the US Army Corp described extensive water data showing that a number of streams in West Virginia and Pennsylvania have high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) and should be considered problematic as more and more drilling and fracking are performed. Kevin Coyne of the WV-DEP said that the emergency rules for regulation of horizontal drilling in WV have been published at Article 35CSR8. These can be found on the WV-DEP web-site, the first paragraph of which is shown below.
.   .   .   .   .
Scope. – This rule shall govern and apply to permit application requirements, operational rules to protect water quantity and quality, and public notice procedures for oil or natural gas operators developing horizontal wells, which wells are also regulated by W. Va. Code § 22-6-1, et seq. and the Legislative Rules promulgated in Title 35 of West Virginia’s Code of State Rules and entitled Oil and Gas.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

S. Thomas Bond October 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm

It’s good to see the assembly of expert opinion and advice on West Virginia’s streams. We particularly need to protect headwaters, which already are relatively high quality. Cleaning up a stream after it has been contaminated is not feasible, and the sources of contamination already established due to industry are difficult to eliminate.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: