Equipment and Trucks Driving Thru Limestone Filled Stream Crossing in Wetzel County, WV

by Duane Nichols on May 8, 2014

Mom's Driveway Under Attack

Mom’s Driveway: Just another “minor project” in the Wetzel Marcellus gas field

From Bill Hughes, Wetzel County Resident, May 5, 2014

I was recently asked to watch over a parcel of property by the son of an elderly woman. Stone Energy has a very active footprint nearby and he was concerned that his Mom’s driveway access and the mailboxes and everything nearby would be disrupted, blocked, damaged, etc.

Parts of the problem situation described and shown above and below have existed for over two years. I have not tried to get anyone to focus on this since up till now it has been a lesser problem when compared to some of the erosion and sedimentation issues of the ongoing natural gas operations in our region.

However in the past few months there has been a very large increase in traffic, both small and larger heavy equipment operating in and thru the unprotected stream bed. It seems that there are preparations for a well pad in progress up the hill. I have been told that in the future a bridge might be built. The standard solution seems to be just to dump more limestone and keep on trucking.

The traffic across Little Fishing Creek here has included, among others: Dump trucks; track hoes, ukes (articulated dumps) rollers, service trucks; utility trucks, pickup trucks; employees pickups; water-withdrawal pump tender’s pickups; diesel fuel delivery trucks; etc.

The water storage pond on the Conley property can be seen on Google Earth. It has been and is part of Stone Energy’s central water management system. All the earth moving equipment to construct the pond was brought up by way of the Little Fishing stream crossing shown in these pictures.

Trucks have been driving thru the creek here at low flow or high flows, without regard for the weather conditions. Larger equipment has been moved thru the steam bed in this unprotected stream crossing. There are no culverts or pipes. In addition to the mechanical service vehicle driving thru the graveled stream bed, a large Sheepfoot’s roller was also driven thru the stream bed.

For a few years, piles of limestone have been regularly stored at the banks of the stream in order to be conveniently placed into the stream bed as often as needed to keep the stream bed passable for the gas industry service vehicles. Dozers and other earth moving equipment would frequently cross thru as needed.

When it comes to industrial activities involving stream crossings of heavy equipment, large trucks, limestone fill materials, and multiple crossings per day, I believe that a bridge needs to be built FIRST—then comes the road improvements, the ponds, laydown areas, and support equipment  for the well pad (s).  Can Mom use her driveway as she normally did?  And, what about the residents that have years of tranquil living in these (and our other) locations throughout the Marcellus region?

Little Fishing Creek & Impacting Roller

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