Contact the DEP and Tell Them NO PERMIT for Boyd Road Site

Loyal supporters of clean water,

We are at a very important crossroads, ladies and gentlemen of Monroe County and neighboring areas.  Gordy Oil has filed for an application do drill and ultimately, hydro-frack in Monroe County.  The site is off Boyd Road in Wayside.  This is all publicly known information.

The site is less than a mile from two different caves and Salt Peter Cave is not much farther away.  North of the site and south of the site are known karst regions.  There are residents local to the area that claim to know of a sinkhole that has been covered in within the immediate vicinity of the site.

The site sits in a field below a mountain ridge.  Water drains downhill, and downhill from the drill site is karst riddled topography – land perforated with sinkholes.  Functionally, that is no different than drilling directly in karst from a vulnerability perspective.

The Salt Peter Cave offers housing to the Indiana bat, an animal on the federal endangered species list, of which only SEVEN were observed in 2010.  The operation in that area could directly or indirectly impact the health of those bats.  There are nearby wild trout streams as well that could be impacted.

Current law only requires the drilling company to test and monitor water in a 1000 foot radius from the well site, yet water can travel for miles underground in our county.

There has not been a comprehensive study completed to consider the possible impacts of hydraulic fracturing on human or animal life in general, let alone in this particular area.

The EPA is conducting such a study (on fracking in general), and their initial results are expected in 2012.

In Charleston, the work continues to revise a new set of regulations for natural gas drillers that may (or may not) be voted into law before March 12th – but currently, those regulations are not in place, meaning we are operating under old, outdated, and insufficient regulations.

An approved permit now would mean the drilling company would be “grandfathered in” even if new regulations do pass.  For a period of two years, they could operate under existing, broken law.

Randy Huffman, a boss over at the DEP, has noted publicly that we do not have enough inspectors to cover the workload in this state.

There are 17 inspectors in the state and 55K active wells, and some 12K inactive wells (thousands of which must be capped and have not yet been).  Based on recent information, there are some 1500 new wells already permitted.  We cannot handle the current, active workload and yet we are still permitting new wells.  Why!?!

Let’s just take the 55K currently active wells.

That means in WV, we have 0.00030909 INSPECTORS PER ACTIVE WELL.

Even with good regulations (which we do not have), it is not possible to enforce regulations anyway because we don’t have the manpower to do so.  The DEP admits this, and is working on finding additional funding for more inspectors.  That funding and the resultant new inspectors do not currently exist.

The site is VERY close to sensitive and vulnerable karst; new regulations are still not in place; there are not sufficient DEP inspectors.

>> Please contact the permitting officers of the DEP Office of Oil & Gas and tell them SAY NO TO THE BOYD ROAD PERMIT!

Office of Oil & Gas : Contact Page

>> Please contact the US Fish & Wildlife Service and tell them your concerns as well!

Bat specialist :
304.636.6586 x19

Director :
304.636.6586 x12

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3 thoughts on “Contact the DEP and Tell Them NO PERMIT for Boyd Road Site

  1. Jeff Pritt

    The permit filed by Gordy Oil Company for the Wade Lively #1 well on Boyd Road in Monroe County, West Virginia, is for a vertical exploratory test well. The Marcellus Shale formation present under Monroe County may or may not be economically feasible to develop as based upon the characteristics of the shale here. Those characteristics are presently unknown.

    I therefore suggest to you that protesting this particular permit is a waste of your time and efforts. The permit, if granted, does not allow horizontal drilling. If the shale formation is favorable for development, then Gordy Oil Company will need to come back and reapply for a new permit in order to do any horizontal drilling on this site.

    If the shale formation is unfavorable in this particular location, then they will most likely drill one or two additional vertical exploratory test wells in our general area to see if the same results are obtained. If the results continue to be unfavorable, then they will most likely withdraw from our area and not seek to produce gas here.

    Accordingly, it makes the most sense to allow this vertical exploratory test well to go forward unimpeded so that we can all know if drilling will be a reality in our area. If not, then there is really nothing to debate.

    By the way, you can view a complete copy of the permit here on Monroe County’s website:

  2. Richard Ettelson

    I don’t agree with Jeff Pritt’s position that the Wade Lively #1 well on Boyd Road should go unimpeded. This is Gordy’s second attempt to get a permit at this site. Their original permit application dated 12-14-10 was already turned down by the DEP. There are problems.

    I, and Gordy Oil Company, would probably take issue with Jeff Pritt’s assertion that it is presently unknown if drilling will take place in Monroe County. After all, thay have already acquired contracts on over 60,000 acres in Monroe, and over 100,000 acres in neighboring Greenbrier. Their not spending all that money for nothing. Speaking up in a timely manner is better than complaing after the damage is done.

    I couldn’t find Jeff Pritt’s term; “test well” anywhere in the application, but I did find in the WELL WORK PERMIT APPLICATION under item 12) it stated; “Possible Fracture Stimulation”. Gordy’s gas drilling plan isn’t only for determining the thickness of the Marcellus formation, it is to “Drill, complete, test and produce a Marcellus Shale Well” (Permit application form WW-2B 12). I’d suppose that additional horizantal lines could be drilled some time after the verticle shaft is dug.

    Gordy Oil Company has not listed what additives will be added to the drilling fluids, or the fracting fluids. This was required in WW9 page 2 “Additives to be used?” There have been problems;

    In May 2008 in Tucker County, in the Fernow Experimental Forest, on the Monongahela National Forest, Berry Energy suffered a drilling accident where drilling fluids were sprayed into the air because of a “Loss of control of the drill bore.” Forest Service scientists said that hydrochloric acid could have caused the damage, or high chlorides in the drilling fluids” (WV Gazette, 2-7-11).

    Just a few miles from Monroe County in neighboring Craig County near Paintbank, Virginia, ARCO drilled an an exploratory gas well that leaked into the Karst area killing all the fish at the Paintbank Trout Hatchery. This happened on October 8, 1985. The stream ran cloudy for almost a year after that catastrophic failure. The cash settlement that ARCO paid was small comfort to the dead trout.

    I take issue with Jeff Pritt’s determination that objecting to this particular permit application is a waste of time and effort. Trying to protect the County from potentially negative environmental impacts is never a waste of time or effort.

    Please write; James Martin, Chief, Office of Oil and Gas, 601 57th Street, SE., Charleston, WV. 25304. Let him know your feelings about the Gordy Oil Company application to drill a gas well (Wade Lively #1) here in Monroe County.

    -Richard Ettelson

  3. laurine yates

    Richard is totally and completely correct. If Gordy comes in here with some trucks, drills, people, equipment, etc etc, he will have put more money into this area. “too much invested to quit”…… We definitely need to keep him out NOW. There is a trail of problems all across the country and our state that show how dangerous and unsafe this kind of drilling is. Why would anyone want it to come here and ruin our little piece of this earth?? Aren’t we all in charge of taking care of our families, our town, our county, our state…. oh, and our planet???


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