Volunteers Conduct a “Gas Well Study” for Kanawha & Putnam Counties in WV

by Duane Nichols on February 16, 2012

A “Gas Well Study” report for 2011 has been prepared by George Monk and Molly Shaffnit for Kanawha and Putnam Counties in WV. Examined were surface owner issues and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s responses to problems and complaints.

The last paragraph, in the Conclusions section, is worthy of consideration:

Violations are rare in West Virginia according to the DEP. That’s wishful thinking. The state abandons citizens whose domestic water supplies are compromised by improperly cased and cemented wells. Families have to buy drinking water, pay for medical expenses (the family near 47-039-06155 is receiving treatment for heavy metal poisoning), and are sometimes forced to leave their homes because of catastrophic health consequences  brought about due to drillers’ activities.

The opportunity exists for volunteers in each county of West Virginia to organize an effort to monitor the existing permit applications, active drilling operations, completed new gas wells as well as the thousands of legacy wells throughout the State.  It was reported today by Randy Huffman, Cabinet Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection, that State-wide in 2010, 23 % of the natural gas came from 517 wells while the remaining 77 % of the produced natural gas came from some 60,000 other gas wells in West Virginia.  This is a staggering figure, to realize that we have of the order of 60,000 wells active (or inactive but still unplugged) spread throughout our 55 counties.

The “Gas Well Report” by Monk and Shaffnit is available for download at:


Additional photographs of the well sites that were visited last year in Kanawha & Putnam Counties are at the following web-site:


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