Residents in Marshall County seek answers on Marcellus shale drilling

by Duane Nichols on February 11, 2011

Some people who attended the natural gas drilling meeting in Marshall County on February 9th left with unanswered questions. Dozens of residents attended an informational meeting sponsored by the West Virginia University Extension Service. These sessions are sponsored in part by Chesapeake Energy, a gas drilling company operating in WV. 

The crowd heard presentations from WVU professors and researchers, legal professionals, and representatives from the WV Department of Environmental Protection. The legislature is debating water quality, surface owner’s rights and other issues related to the Marcellus shale drilling activity.

The WV-DEP said it needs more funding and staff as the oversight agency for gas drilling. The agency is asking the legislature to approve a bill that would raise drilling permit fees from $650 to $10,000. Secretary Randy Huffman said his agency is having a hard time keeping up with the drilling activity. “I think we are probably at a tipping point,”  he said.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Pratt February 13, 2011 at 12:07 am

Is it true that the W.Va laws on the books allow or once allowed “Land Application” of Brine? This is something I read that I have not been able to substantiate…Thanks @jlpratt4


Nicole Good February 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Yes. Land application of fluid from Marcellus wells was once allowed. Thankfully, this practice was banned after the fluid killed everything it touched in the Fernow Experimental Forest (150 trees and all ground vegetation, with damage worsening one year after application). Land application is still a legal practice for most gas wells in West Virginia– just not Marcellus wells.

You can read the full report on Fernow at


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