Drilling Wastewater Spills in Doddridge County

Charleston Gazette
14 June 2011
By Ken Ward Jr.

This just in from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection:

On June 9, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas issued three notices of violation and an order to cease operations to Hall Drilling, LLC, based in Ellenboro, W.Va., for an incident in which a storage tank overflowed into England’s Run in Doddridge County.

This incident occurred at a centralized storage tank maintained by Hall Drilling for the purpose of temporarily storing wastewater and oil from well sites. The company was cited for causing the storage tank to overflow; failing to have appropriate containment and or diversionary structures to prevent discharged oil or other pollutants from reaching the waters of the state; and for allowing pollutants to flow into waters of the state.

While the agency first believed the spill to be primarily produced water, further investigation has led inspectors to believe that the discharge was primarily, if not totally, crude oil.

As a result of these violations, the agency ordered the company to cease operations at the Swiger 1 well pad and the storage tank facility.

The company contained the discharge downstream and nearby water intakes were properly notified through the agency’s spill notification system.