I did go to the meeting on the 14th, led by Dale McCutcheon and Howdy Henritz. They gave out the one page from the regulations about what drillers must do re your water–you could get a copy of it from Dale (his office number is the same as that for the Monroe Health Center). Basically, they cannot drill within 1000 ft of an existing well (meaningless in karst) and they have to give notice to land owner–various ways detailed.
Dale and Howdy have made arrangements with REIC (a water testing lab in Beckley) to test for the basics that would show up from a well contaminated by drilling–cost $200. The samples must be collected by a “licensed person”–Howdy and Dale qualify, and not by landowner. They are collecting names so they can do it by areas. If you don’t have a baseline test done, you’re out of luck if your well or spring is polluted. On the other hand, if your well is polluted, the drillers are not going to do much–maybe bring you bottled water the rest of your life.
At the meeting also were Rocky Parsons and Dennis White. Rocky had maps of the karst showing the lineament–a crack though the area marked by many sinkholes and which cavers believe may contain fabulous caves–pretty much unexplored. (He also had marked on it the flow length and direction of the known dye tests.) Cavers say that drilling MUST NOT be done anywhere near the lineament. The first well planned is right near it.
A Monroe County resident offers some notes on a recent community meeting: