EQT has sited 12 wells in a flood plain in Doddridge county, which may involve 60,000 cubic yards of fill into the flood plain. There has been flooding 3 times in the past ten years in this area. An illinformed county official OK’d the site, jeopardizing the chances of families from obtaining flood insurance all over the county. The reason the whole county is involved is that the insurance in the flood plain is federal, based on a requirement the county maintain a permitting system with certain rules. You violate those rules, the county looses government support.
So the County Commission rescinded the permit, and EQT is suing. . . . . . Now the WV DEP has granted permits for the wells.
These siting engineers pick places to put wells day after day. Most articles about this siting finesse the situation. They fail to mention the huge fill involved. Stories such as the one in The State Journal lead the reader to assume the pad surface will be at the level of the flood plain. I surmise that the author of that story, Pam Kasey, was the victim of the finesse by getting misleading information, rather than the one who promulgated it.
Since the pad was designed with a fill, the engineers undoubtedly knew there was a high water problem. They also most probably knew the situation with regard to how it should have been handled, and likely the vulnerability of the County government. And they must be familiar with federal law concerning flood plains.
This may be example of a bunch of aggressive sharpies, perhaps the engineers but more likely the executives in charge, simply trying to pull a fast one. They understood the situation, but thought they might get by with it.
Once again, where was the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection when citizens need protection?
The site is at: 39.1476412048538 -80.7909470392214 which you can find on Google Maps. The stream flows West.
SkyTruth has documented this Marcellus shale gas well and location here. You can also locate the adjacent wells in this facility.
S. Tom Bond, Farmer, Citizen, Lewis County, WV