Energy Report

Fracking Wastewater Leads to Ban in West Virginia County

Date: February 17, 2016

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By Eliza Laubach

In Fayette County, W.Va., residents speaking up against natural gas drilling wastewater spurred a county-wide ban on the use, storage or disposal of any oil or gas waste.

The county pushed to take control of wastewater injection permits following a controversy with the state regarding a wastewater site, owned by Danny Webb Construction, that had been leaking for more than a decade.

Shortly after the ban unanimously passed in January, oil and gas companies operating in the county claimed the ban infringes upon their rights and filed an injunction, effectively halting the ban until a federal court makes a decision. Two days later, Fayette County residents filed a lawsuit asking the company to stop operating the hazardous site.

To the north, in Ritchie County, residents requested that the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection test water near a suspicious well, which confirmed leakage.

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