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into law before March 12th – but currently, those regulations are not in place, meaning we are operating under old, outdated, and insufficient regulations.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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
Director : email@example.com