FODC Eyes Reaction to Frack Proposal

Morgantown Dominion Post 
23 August 2013
By Jim Bissett

Forrest Conroy always entertains the possibilities as he tools along West Virginia’s winding country roads.

That’s what fishermen do, he said as he and others occupied a lecture hall at WVU’s Agricultural Science Building.

He wasn’t smiling, though, as he and the 50 or so others who filled the terraced lecture hall were considering the possibilities that brought them there.

They came out to hear a presentation by the Friends of Deckers Creek, which, in turn, was mulling over the possibilities of what might happen to the watershed it oversees, should a fracking operation be installed near recreational grounds near Masontown, in Preston County.

Energy Corporation of America (ECA) is considering reconfiguring a conventional well that’s already at the proposed site to handle the frack water that is a byproduct of Marcellus shale exploration.

“It’s worrisome,” said Conroy, who is the father of a young daughter.

“It’s so accessible to the public and such a resource. I can imagine bringing my children there.”

The Friends worries that a heavily trafficked drilling operation might take that possibility away.

The proposed site is about 500 feet from the creek near the intersection of Deckers Creek Trail and Sand Bank Road.

Those opposed worry about the wear-and-tear of heavy trucks driving up and down roads they say were never designed for that purpose.

In a statement emailed earlier to The Dominion Post, E C A’s chief operating officer Kyle Mork said the operation would be pursued in “an environmentally responsible manner.”

His company, he said, has been doing business in West Virginia for 50 years.

The work would be done on an existing well, he said, which means his company and its engineers literally know the lay of the land.

ECA, meanwhile, said if it does file for a permit to do the work, it will be sometime this fall.

Board members of the Friends of Deckers Creek said they may hire a lawyer if that happens.