TO THE COUNTY COMMISSION OF MONROE COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA;
Whereas, the karst topography and limestone bedrock which underlie Monroe County make our water bearing formations especially vulnerable to contamination, as evidenced by the fact that about half of the water wells tested within the county by the Monroe County Health Department have been found contaminated; and
Whereas because of the unique karst topography, there are many underground hydrologic systems, draining large areas of the County, that are not well defined or documented; and
Whereas, groundwater is the primary source of public and private water use in Monroe County; and
Whereas, there are now increasing numbers of active gas wells in the United States with increasing reports of water contamination relating to gas well drilling processes, and
Whereas, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection are studying the potential environmental impact of gas well drilling processes; and
Whereas Chapter 7-1-3kk of the West Virginia Code states as follows in reference to county commissions, “In addition to all powers and duties conferred by law upon county commissions, commissions are hereby authorized to enact ordinances, issue orders and take other appropriate and necessary actions for the elimination of hazards to public health and safety and to abate or cause to be abated anything which the commission determines to be a public nuisance”
Therefore; we undersigned concerned citizens of the Monroe County area respectfully request that the Monroe County Commission order a MORATORIUM on gas well drilling for six months in Monroe County to allow time for more extensive research into the potential for contamination of groundwater in karst topography and to give full consideration to regulation of gas well drilling at the county level.