September 18, 2013
Mr. Donald Supcoe
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Energy Corporation of America
501 56th Street Charleston, WV 25304
Dear Mr. Supcoe:
I am writing for the Board of the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia to give you our reasons for being against the installation of an ECA Class II wastewater injection well near Masontown, WV and near Deckers Creek.
We have read the letter written to you on July 30 2013 by Elizabeth Wiles of Friends of Deckers Creek.
We have studied her materials and arguments, and seen maps and pictures of the location of your possible installation. We are concerned for two main reasons.
First, Deckers Creek is in the watershed of the Monongahela River. This is of great concern to those of us in Morgantown and Monongalia County, since the Monongahela is the source of our drinking water as well as important for recreation. Clean water, and therefore a clean watershed,is a goal of the League of Women Voters.
We have been studying hydraulic fracturing and the fluids used in, and retrieved from, the process.
We have also learned about the mishaps in hydraulic fracturing nationwide. Accidents happen, seepage happens, leaking happens. Having the possibility of accidents and the leaking of this hazardous water into Deckers Creek would endanger the water quality of the watershed.
Second, Deckers Creek and the Deckers Creek trail are a relatively new and wonderful recreation area. Many people from Monongalia County have been walking, running and biking on the trail for many years. The 8 million dollars spent on restoring the water in the creek, and the additional funding for the building of the trail , are a public investment that is treasured by the people. Having large trucks and the noise of an industrial site near the trail and the threat of undoing the reclaiming of the creek will jeopardize the beauty of all that has been done.
WE FEEL THAT THE INJECTION WELL WOULD BE TOO CLOSE TO DECKERS CREEK AND THE DECKERS CREEK TRAIL. If West Virginia is to promote hydraulic fracturing for gas, then companies must be extra careful to protect the water and all public recreation sites.
We oppose the development of an injection well at this site.
Catherine Lozier, Chair of Natural Resources Committee
League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County
Drilling Down on Regulatory Challenges: Balancing Preservation and Profitability in the Development of Shale Gas Resources promises an unbiased and informative exploration of key topics that face the public, industry and policy makers across the nation regarding the responsible and practical regulation of shale gas production.
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To: Air Quality Office of the US EPA
From:League of Women Voters of West Virginia
Re: EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Air Pollution Rules, proposed
The League of Women Voters of West Virginia applauds the US EPA for issuing regulations on air emissions from fracking to drill for natural gas and oil. At present West Virginia residents are among those bearing the brunt of increased air pollution from fracking to produce natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.
We recognize the economic benefits from gas well drilling, but these benefits should not be at the expense of the health of our people. Regulation of VOCs and air toxics is necessary to protect our citizens’ health.
In addition the release of methane from gas wells contributes to the warming of the planet so we strongly support measures to eliminate fugitive methane releases.
We also support requiring existing wells be covered by the same air pollution regulations.
We are impressed with the proposed savings to the industry when they install the necessary measures to meet the requirements of the regulations.
Thank you for your efforts to improve the public health of residents in fracking/drilling areas.
On June 2 a meeting cosponsored by the Morgantown LWV was held at Skyview Elementary in Morgatown, WV. Guests included Randy Huffman. This is a recap of the presentations, conversations, ordinances and the resolutions.
Public Meeting on the Adverse Impacts of the Marcellus Natural Gas Activities:
Where Are We, Where Are We Going?
Meeting Agenda and Minutes — June 2, 2011 — 6:15 PM
Skyview Elementary School, Westover, WV
SPONSORS: WV/PA Monongahela Area Watersheds Compact (Barry Pallay & Duane Nichols) and the League of Women Voters (Kitty Lozier, Phyllis Marshall, Janice Gunel, Jonathan Rosenbaum)
Continue reading Recap of Skyview meeting cosponsored by the Morgantown LWV
August 23, 2011
Members of Morgantown City Council
Dear Members of City Council:
The League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County would like you to Appeal the recent ruling by Judge Tucker against the Ban on Marcellus Shale Fracking in and around Morgantown.
In her ruling the Judge states that the environmental issues are being addressed by Governor Tomblin’s executive order of July 5. The DEP has now issued their emergency rules requested by the Governor regarding Marcellus drilling. They are not at all adequate to protect the City of Morgantown from the nearby Marcellus drilling. As you know, Northeast has said they want to drill six wells on the pad across from Morgantown. They have permits for two. The public notice procedure in the new rules calls for a notice of application for a permit “within the boundaries of any municipality”. Northeast’s wells are outside the boundaries. We would not have notice of an application for the next four wells. Even if the City did have notice, there is no mention of public comment, let alone public influence on any permitting decision.
The Select Legislative Committee which is charged with developing Marcellus regulations seems to be divided between proceeding this fall and waiting to let the full Legislature create and pass regulations in January. If they wait, there would probably be no regulations in effect until next July at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the DEP is giving out permits that will only be subject to the DEP rules. These rules do not protect surface owners, do not fund more inspectors for DEP, or control air emissions, or develop adequate bonding , or permit water withdrawals , or monitor stream levels, or create adequate distances from populations, homes, schools, hospitals and other sensitive places, or provide for the cumulative impact of multiple wells in a community including truck traffic, road destruction and noise pollution.
The League of Women Voters requests that City Council appeal the judgment handed down by Judge Susan Tucker on August 12, 2011, regarding the City’s right to pass an Ordinance banning fracking in and around Morgantown.
The State of West Virginia still does not have adequate regulations to protect Morgantown from the negative effects of Marcellus Shale drilling and fracking.
The League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County
Today at a public hearing with state legislatures focused on Marcellus Shale Drilling in West Virginia
Marilyn McGeorge, from the League of Women Voters, said, “The League supports a strong regulatory plan. Today, there are only 17 field inspectors to cover new drilling sites, in addition to 157,000 sites already operating. And there will be six million gallons of water used in each well.”
See full article at http://wvgazette.com/News/201102171508.
Last month the Joint Legislative Interim Judiciary Subcommittee A introduced a draft bill establishing a new regulatory program for gas wells utilizing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. While the bill is aimed at regulating the Marcellus Shale gas well drilling occurring now in West Virginia, it would apply to all drilling using these new drilling techniques.
The subcommittee will begin discussing this important bill as early as next Monday, December 13, at their monthly interim committee meetings. Our preliminary reading of this draft legislation shows that it contains some good things and some not-so-good things, and omits some things we want.
But it is important that the subcommittee pass a bill out before Interim sessions end in January, so that the full legislature will have a comprehensive draft bill to consider when they convene on January 12.
Conventional natural gas drilling and production is a major industrial activity with a host of environmental and other consequences. Effects can range from water contamination related to drilling and disposal of drilling fluids, air quality degradation from internal combustion engines on drill rigs and trucks, excess dust from equipment transportation, impacts to solitude and night skies from noise and lighting, and safety concerns associated with the large number of trucks needed to support drilling operations. However, “unconventional” shale-gas drilling, such as in the Marcellus Shale play, represents a huge leap in technology, and causes an exponential increase in surface disturbance, water use and waste disposal. And all this new activity is largely unregulated in West Virginia.
Please contact NOW the members of Interim Judiciary Subcommittee A and urge them to pass this comprehensive draft legislation out of subcommittee and on to the full legislature for its further consideration. Committee members need to know their constituents are concerned about the greater impacts of Marcellus and other deep shale drilling and this bill is a crucial start. Including comments about problems you’ve experienced or know about in other areas of the state is helpful, but not necessary.
The industry has already made its opposition to this bill known — now it’s time for legislators to hear from YOU.
Below is a list of Judiciary A Subcommittee members and their contact information. You can also try to contact (and leave messages for) members using the Toll Free phone number: 1-877-565-3447.
You may use this action alert page provided by the Sierra Club to email all members!
Thanks for your help.
Continue reading Urge Lawmakers to Pass Marcellus Shale Drilling Bill Out of Subcommittee
Adopts first-in-the-nation ordinance – elevates the right of the community to decide, not corporations
Continue reading Pittsburgh Bans Natural Gas Drilling
Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County
Wednesday, December 8th
7-9 pm Aull Center
351 Spruce St.
The West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club has initiated a campaign to protect our waters and communities from the hydro-fracking process, and other environmental abuses, associated with drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale rock formations of the Appalachian Mountains. Beth Little, who is a member of the Sierra Club’s Campaign Steering Committee, will be giving a presentation about the environmental risks associated with Marcellus Shale drilling.
The League of Women Voters invites the public to come to the Aull Center Wednesday evening, December 8, 7-9 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the presentation.
1. Comments to ORSANCO, asking the agency not to weaken standards for mercury in the Ohio River.
2. Comments to the Oil and Gas Office of the WV Department of Environmental Protection regarding the reclamation of oil and gas sites. The League asked that (1) the DEP require the use of native plants for revegetation rather than the list proposed that is made up of non-native, invasive plants, and (2) that the uses of the held topsoil shall be re-spread or used as a top dressing, rather than should.
3. We joined with other WV environmental organizations on comments to the DEP on the 2010 Triennial Review of WV Water Quality Standards. Thanks to the other organizations for their preparation of the comments. Salient parts are listed here: Continue reading Fall Natural Resources Report