Approx. 10,000 Gallons of Oil Product Leaked into North Fork of Fishing Creek in Wetzel County

by Duane Nichols on February 22, 2016

Clean-up and testing ongoing after oil spill in Pine Grove

From a Report by Tessa DiTirro, WTRF News 7, Wheeling, WV, February 21, 2016

Pine Grove, WV — Cleanup is ongoing in Pine Grove after an oil spill from the Mobley plant early Saturday morning potentially contaminated the water. Water sampling and testing is ongoing in Beckley.

Water still should only be used for sanitation purposes (i.e. flushing the toilet) until test results are back.

There are more than 75 MarkWest employees and contractors working in Pine Grove for spill response. Bottled water is being distributed at The Byrd Center, and each of the 360 households have been notified about the spill.

There has been no explanation for the cause of the release, but the main focus has been making sure Pine Grove residents have a source of clean water and that the heat transfer oil is fully cleaned up from the North Fork of Fishing Creek.

Pine Grove has been able to switch over to an alternate source of clean water and plenty of bottled water is still available at the Byrd Center.

MarkWest said they would like to thank the local first responders and Mayor Justice for their support and cooperation and the residents of Pine Grove for working with us as we resolve this matter.


Oil spill probed in Wetzel County, WV creek

From the State Journal, February 21, 2016

Environmental regulators are looking into an oil spill in a northern West Virginia creek. Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelly Gillenwater tells media outlets that heat transfer oil spilled from a MarkWest Energy’s Mobley natural gas processing plant in Wetzel County on Saturday morning. The cause of the spill is under investigation.

MarkWest Energy said in a statement that an undetermined amount of oil got into the North Fork of Fishing Creek and that a water plant seven miles downstream in Pine Grove closed its intake and switched to an alternative source for water. The company it testing the water to determine when it will be safe to drink again.

Gillenwater says the facility holds 10,000 gallons. She says booms were deployed in the creek to contain the spill. She said there’s no evidence of aquatic life being harmed in the stream.

In Pine Grove, a community of 550 residents about 110 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, officials are asking residents to use water only to flush toilets. Water bottles filled a parking lot at the Robert C. Byrd Center next to the creek, and Pine Grove Mayor Roy Justice said every home was supplied with at least one case of bottled water by Saturday night.

“Our primary priority is to make sure that our neighbors here in Pine Grove have fresh drinking water,” said MarkWest Energy spokesman Robert McHale. MarkWest Energy splits natural gas into other fuels. It is among the biggest natural gas processors in the U.S. and is active in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.

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