Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WV Sierra Club to present incontrovertible evidence of blatant transgressions by Marcellus shale gas drillers

It has become all too apparent that people removed from the fracking phenomenon really have no idea of the range of problems associated with industrial scale gas drilling.  Setbacks, spills, unethical landmen, inspectors not responding or misbehaving, threats and intimidation by drillers, lack of sediment/erosion control, poor waste management, open pits/ponds, hazardous waste not identified, underground injection well problems, noise, fumes, streams contaminated, heavy truck traffic, accidents, explosions – the list goes on and on..

Many people have suffered serious impacts, but their stories are frequently written off as emotional exaggerations.  The surge in industrial scale drilling sites has caused major problems with our water, our land, our air and our health and officials have failed to respond appropriately.  There is also strong evidence that the leadership of the WV DEP has turned a blind eye to important parts of the studies presented to it recently by West Virginia University. This was all too apparent from the reactions of several legislators during a recent DEP report on those studies.

The WV Sierra Club believes it has become crucial to quickly build a citizen-based expose’…verified reports to illustrate once and for all the extent of widespread suffering endured by too many citizens.

The 3 Ring Binder Project

The 3 Ring Binder project will be an eye-opening collection of thoroughly documented examples of how and why our current laws and regulations are not protecting us, our health or the environment.

Workers at the WV Chapter of Sierra Club will gather case studies and researchers will interview and verify the reports presented.  The 3 ring binders containing these reports will be graphic tools we can take to our representatives, the media, or our doubting neighbors, to make our case. 

Among the early confirmed reports received is one in Kanawha County, where thirteen families had their drinking water contaminated.  The driller sprayed flowback water into the woods killing trees, as well.  In Ritchie County, a landowner reports his pond affected by sediment, water contamination and a measured high conductance in dust suppression “water” sprayed on roads.

When these 3 Ring Binders hit the desks of county, state and federal leaders and the media, they will be faced with an undeniable truth…that there is still much to do to ensure the safety of West Virginia citizens.

Citizens who have been adversely affected by Marcellus drilling and would like to be part of this project, are urged to contact the WV Sierra Club at outreach@marcellus-wv.com or 1-877-252-0257.  Please request the Gas Drilling Incident Survey Form.