WV/PA MONONGAHELA AREA WATERSHEDS COMPACT
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED ON DECEMBER 3, 2010
13. Coal, oil and natural gas development and production
activities along with limestone mining and other major extractive
industries in our region have significant potential to contaminate the
atmosphere with particulate solids, condensates, vapors, diverse gases
and/or liquid droplets. Many of these materials are hazardous in the
atmosphere and most are heavier than air. These substances can collect
in valleys, they can move in clouds or as clumps near the ground. It is
resolved that the states and federal agencies should respond to these
hazards by instituting both discrete and continuous monitoring in the
proximity of known sources.
The existing air quality monitoring programs, their mission, their
equipment, and their computer modeling capability are substantially
inadequate to the existing problems in our region. Immediate changes
need to be made in the required responsibilities of the air quality
protection program of each state such that monitoring and regulation of
emissions at all gas and oil wells takes place.
The information developed should be reported promptly for public use,
and this information should be reported in conjunction with water
quality information and other data on the source(s) of atmospheric
pollutants in a given area.
When possible, the measured parameters should be sufficient to identify
and differentiate sources of pollution and to specify the possible
dangers to the public health and welfare.
14. The substantial increase in exploration and drilling for
natural gas in our region has given rise to large and sometimes
uncommon equipment and processes for natural gas recovery, processing,
compression and transmission. Existing standards for protection of the
public health as well as for the workplace should be reviewed both at
the State and Federal level to ensure the public and the workplace
health and safety are protected for both short and long term exposures.
This should also apply to all natural gas drilling operations and
related activities of gas processing, compression and transmission.
Where standards are not adequate or non-existent they should be revised
or new ones developed and promulgated as appropriate. Public meetings
should be held at the state and federal level to inform the public of
the status of these matters as well as the plans and schedules to
complete and implement this work.
15. Given that large quantities of polluted waters result from the
coal, oil and gas industries in this region, and that the release
of these polluted waters generally contribute to the problems of high
total dissolved solids (TDS) and other hazardous or undesirable
contaminants in regional streams and rivers. It is herewith
resolved that the storage of waste water or waters with high total
dissolved solids (TDS) or other polluted waters, for the purpose of
subsequent release into public waterways, should be regulated to avoid
adverse impacts (if not prohibited altogether) as a long-term solution
to this serious problem. Such storage and subsequent release of
polluted waters has be justified, under certain circumstances and at
times of high flow rates (for example), as a short term fix while
feasible and practical long term solutions are developed and
implemented. When such short-term fixes are to be used, rigorous
evaluations should be conducted and public meetings to review the
specific plans and timelines should be held.
16. The mine pools currently existing in northern West Virginia
and southwestern Pennsylvania are numerous and contain large volumes of
water. And, such mine pools are generally increasing in number
and continue to fill with water. The water in these mine pools
should be protected from contamination; that is, the pollution of these
waters should be illegal, because these pools represent a potential
source of useful water. In addition, these waters will ultimately
emerge as ground water or surface water and join local streams. It is
resolved that the water currently existing in mine pools or in other
such reservoirs be henceforth considered as a useful water resource,
where ever and whenever this is feasible. As such, the quality
and quantity of such waters should be monitored, suitable uses noted,
suitable withdrawal locations identified, and restrictions be place on
any further contamination of such waters.