Nicholas County Gas Well Flare Burns for Months in Violation of State Law

by Duane Nichols on March 12, 2012

Example Marcellus Gas Well Flare

Since no pipeline is available, Bluescape Resources has been burning gas from three Marcellus wells near Fenwich in Nicholas county since August of 2011.  And, now the WV-DEP has provided approval to continue the burning until the end of May 2012.  

No permit is needed to flare natural gas up to a thirty day period.  The permit recently granted (after the fact of burning for over six months), permits the release of up to 34,000 pounds per hour of carbon dioxide.

A local group of citizens “Stand Up Now” has expressed strong concern over this situation, particularly since the State appears to have no air quality monitoring in the area.  In addition to the glare, which disturbs the residents, there are products of incomplete combustion as well as the methane that escapes conversion to carbon dioxide.  Both are potent greenhouse gases, that promote global climate change.

An article in the Charleston Gazette dated March 7th provides more details. Local resident Stephanie Hamilton said state law allows for fines of up to $250,000 per well for the nonpermitted flaring.  “I wonder how the DEP justified a $50,000 fine,” she said.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: