Landfill Tonnage Caps Needed for Shale Drilling Wastes

by Duane Nichols on November 12, 2013

Solid Waste Truck Lineup

Landfill Tonnage Caps Needed for Shale Drilling Wastes

NOTE: — Comment Period Ends November 13th —

The WV Public Service Commission, which regulates this state’s solid waste landfills, is currently considering a request in Wetzel County that would allow unlimited amounts of shale gas drilling waste (drill cuttings and drilling mud) to be dumped in local landfills.

The Lackawanna Transport Company which operates the Wetzel County Landfill has filed an application with the PSC for a “certificate of need” to construct and operate a dedicated disposal “cell” for the disposal of solid drilling wastes.

Under memos recently issued by DEP to landfill operators (but not provided to county Solid Waste Authorities) there is ABSOLUTELY NO LIMIT on the total tonnage of drilling waste going into our landfills. And there is no requirement to monitor these wastes for radioactivity known to be associated with it.

The landfill tonnage caps contained in WV’s landmark Solid Waste Management Act were designed to insure that our landfills could operate well into the future. For more than a year now the PSC and the DEP have allowed the Wetzel landfill (and others) to exceed their legal tonnage limits to accept this drilling waste.

This is your chance to tell the Public Service Commission that this is not acceptable and that you want our landfills to be available for everyone’s grandchildren to use decades from now.

To file a “protest/opposition” comment on this case simply go to this website:

Once there, fill in all the name, address, phone information, etc. Under comment type — choose  “PROTEST”. The comment box will then display “Comment in Protest of Case 13-0832-SWF-CN”.

Here is a list of concerns you can use for your comments:

Make sure to ask for a public hearing on this case in New Martinsville. The huge increase in tonnage at the landfill is using up space and shortening its useful life. The existing landfill tonnage caps must be restored.

There has been a large increase in traffic near the landfill. The roads near the landfill are being damaged by the increase in heavy truck traffic.

Some Marcellus shale drilling wastes are known to be radioactive.

The existing leachate treating system may not be able to handle the toxic mix of drill waste products. The liquid discharges from these landfills may pollute streams or groundwater nearby.

It is urgent that you do this now, because the comment period ends on Wednesday, November 13, 2013. Thanks for your attention.

Don Garvin, WVEC Legislative Coordinator,
West Virginia Environmental Council (WVEC)
Charleston, WV

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie Jenks November 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Save our water!!


Scott Whitacre November 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm

The waste should be tested for radioactivity. Possible contamination of streams and water nearby are cause for concern. Reinstate previous tonnage caps.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: