WV/PA Monongahela Area Watersheds Compact
Eighth Meeting - April 28, 2011
1 - Barry Palley, Watersheds Compact Co-Chair, opened the meeting
and greeted everyone. He said there is a need for Bromide standards.
What is adequate, he asked.
2 – Martin Niverth, UMRA, Green County, said there was a poor
number of inspectors, but the PADEP is taking water readings seriously;
companies are responding. Consultants are following citizens testing
water. DEP does what the Politicians tell them. There is a need for a
Water Commission (to regulate water withdrawal and use), similar to the
Delaware and Susquehanna commissions. We need to get everyone together
to work together under the Commission.
3 – Duane Nichols, Watersheds Compact Co-Chair, commented on the impact
of the Marcellus Shale Gas drilling activities on residents, saying the
“odds are worsening in the Shale game.” Things are reaching a crises
level – leaders won’t be able to hide. Property owners can’t sleep
because of the noise and lack of dark skies. Chesapeake needs to be
sensitive to people’s needs.
4 – Bill Hughes, Wetzel County Action Group, has lived in Wetzel for 35
years said there was a backflow of mud and contaminants from wells that
are being buried on well sites. Drill mud is leaching into aquifers.
Lately, mud has been hauled off to landfills in Wheeling and
Parkersburg. New York has determined the waste is not suitable for
landfills, and it must be treated as hazardous materials and sent to
5 – Amanada Pitzer, Friends of the Cheat reported that friends are
mapping and monitoring the Cheat River watershed. Fifty permits to
drill have been issued in the lower Cheat and Big Sandy watersheds. A
fifteen mile long pipe line is being laid from Albright, WV to
somewhere in Fayette County. Chesapeake is aware that volunteers are
taking water readings. Seismic testing is being done in the Pisgah
area. A land fill has been proposed to be sited in the Bruceton Mills
area for waste mud. The Cheat River Festival will be held on May 7th at
1 PM in Albright. To volunteer, contact Amanda@Cheat.org.
6 – John King, WVDEP Office of Environmental Advocate’s Office provided
a power point presentation of Environmental degradation concerns,
including: habitat fatigue, transportation dust and diesel fumes, air
quality, flaring down-wind syndrome, venting tanks, questionable
working conditions, public safety, burying and exploding wells, noise
pollution, stream crossings, hay bale barriers, silt fences, steep
slopes, preventable mishaps, water withdrawal, fresh water
impoundments, processing water impurities on site – percent of
solidification and turbulence, leachate, water treatment and safe
drinking water concerns, workers may be at risk, well pad development
in flood plains, impact on sensitive wetlands, fill in streams,
conditions not allowable, protecting ground water, cementing and casing
programs and abandoned wells, methane and completed wells.
7 - WV House of Delegates Members Fleischauer and Mike Mannypenny of
the Judiciary Committee, and Charlene Marshall of the Finance Committee
were present. Barbara Fleischauer said she thinks a special session of
the Legislature dealing with Marcellus Gas issues is possible and maybe
likely. One special legislative session is required for redistricting.
Mike Mannypenny added that issues of air quality monitoring, water
withdrawal, air quality anti-degradation, protection of water and
property values must be addressed.
8 – Lewis Baker, WV Rural Water Association and Martin Niverth, Green
County, PA discussed a proposed Bromide standard for
drinking water. An in-steam water quality standard for bromide (of
approximately 50-100 ug/l) may be necessary to protect water supplies
in the Monongahela Basin, and down-stream in the Ohio valley. The
proposed standard should be developed after a systematic study and
public hearings have taken place, and as soon as possible.
A motion was made and approved, “The WV/PA Monongahela Area Watersheds
Compact herein endorses and promotes the adoption and implementation of
a numeric Water Quality Standard for Bromide, by the states of West
Virginia and Pennsylvania, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation
Commission, and/or the US Environmental Protection Agency.
9 –Frank Jernejcic, WVNNR Fishery Biologist, provided an update on
Dunkard Creek and the ORANSCO Ohio River Source Water Protection.
10 – The ninth watersheds meeting will be May 31, at 1 PM at the