WVDEP Releases Draft Shale Drilling Guidance Document

Morgantown Dominion Post
30 March 2009

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has released draft guidance to better manage the oil and gas industry's appropriate water use and disposal when drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation.

The document was created by the Office of Oil and Gas and the Division of Water and Waste Management at the request of Cabinet Secretary Randy C. Huffman.
"New advancements in drilling technology have created increased interest in exploring the Marcellus Shale formation in - New York, Pennsylvania and recently in West Virginia," said Huffman. "What we are concerned about is the increase in the amount of water used and the disposal of waste water that results from using these new drilling techniques."

The document addresses the need for drillers to be diligent about protecting the state's waters. It includes an addendum to the permit application that is to be completed when more than 5,000 barrels of water are to be used or disposed of. It advises drillers to consider options for recycling the fluid resulting from the fracture process, as well as the need for proper treatment of those waters before disposal.

A copy of the draft document is available for review at www.wvdep.org/marcellusguidance

Comments can be submitted until April 17 at www.DEP.Comments@wv.gov or by mailing the Public Information Office at 601 57th St. SE, Charleston, WV 25304.