The Charleston Gazette discovered with a FOIA request that there was language similar to what was requested by Morgantown City Council in the May 17, 2011 Resolution Advocating for Munincipal Protection in the Governor's draft Executive Order that was removed only hours prior to its public release. The Charleston Gazette says there would have been a mandate "that DEP provide public notice for any Marcellus Shale applications for drilling within any municipality or within a one-mile radius of the boundary of any municipality." Morgantown requested specifically for the,
Need for a requirement that all Marcellus Shale drilling permits issued for well site development two miles or less from incorporated municipal boundaries include proper public notice and public hearing with agency representatives from each State and local oversight and stakeholder agency attending before a permit is issued;
The Gazette observed that another Media outlet, Energize WV, had the ealier version on their website, and the Gazette says that while Industry groups received this draft, citizen groups were excluded. While some corespondence with the governor has been released, the Gazette says that correspondance from Industry Lobbyists is still being deliberately withheld from the public.
Here is the Draft Executive Order. It mandates in 4g,
Requiring applicants for well work permits seeking to drill the first horizontal Marcellus Shale well on any particular well pad located in an area (1) within the boundaries of any municipality, as such term is defined in W. Va. Code § 8-1-2, or (2) within a one-mile radius of the boundaries of any municipality, to publish public notice of the filing of such well work permit application in the form, manner and containing the substance prescribed by the Secretary of the WVDEP, but in any event sufficient to apprise the public of the applicants’ intent to drill said well within the municipal boundaries or within such one-mile radius of the municipal boundaries, as the case may be.
But in the Executive Order, we can observe that it is now changed to,
Requiring applicants for well work permits seeking to drill the first horizontal Marcellus Shale well on any particular well pad located in an area within the boundaries of any municipality, as such term is defined in W. Va. Code § 8-1-2, to publish public notice of the filing of such well work permit application in the form, manner and containing the substance prescribed by the Secretary of the WVDEP, but in any event sufficient to apprise the public of the applicants’ intent to drill said well within the municipal boundaries.
You can read Charleston Gazette's full article, and about another important change they discovered at http://wvgazette.com/News/201107271366?page=1.
The following is the abstract for the report titled Land Application of Hydrofracturing Fluids Damages a Deciduous Forest Stand in West Virginia, by Mary Beth Adams, from the Journal of Environmental Quality.
In June 2008, 303,000 L of hydrofracturing fluid from a natural gas well were applied to a 0.20-ha area of mixed hardwood forest on the Fernow Experimental Forest, West Virginia. During application, severe damage and mortality of ground vegetation was observed, followed about 10 d later by premature leaf drop by the overstory trees. Two years after fluid application, 56% of the trees within the fluid application area were dead. Fagus grandifoliaEhrh. was the tree species with the highest mortality, and Acer rubrum L. was the least affected, although all tree species present on the site showed damage symptoms and mortality. Surface soils (0–10 cm) were sampled in July and October 2008, June and October 2009, and May 2010 on the fluid application area and an adjacent reference area to evaluate the effects of the hydrofracturing fluid on soil chemistry and to attempt to identify the main chemical constituents of the hydrofracturing fluid. Surface soil concentrations of sodium and chloride increased 50-fold as a result of the land application of hydrofracturing fluids and declined over time. Soil acidity in the fluid application area declined with time, perhaps from altered organic matter cycling. This case study identifies the need for further research to help understand the nature and the environmental impacts of hydrofracturing fluids to devise optimal, safe disposal strategies.
Link to full study:
We have some presenters. However we will also have information for people who would like to present but need specific talking points. Please see someone with a WV4MOM t-shirt if you would like to present but want specific talking points. Please try to get there at least one to two hours early so that you can sign up to speak.
Please wear your WV4MOM t-shirts.
Media Committee: Planned to make stronger connections with media and politicians and is standardizing communication so that each committee can use the website for weekly reports. These reports will be named “Weekly Updates”. The website will also provide information about other WV4MOM chapters in WV.
Education Committee: Planned to participate in Community Day (July 30, 10-4 at the Morgantown Mall). Will have a display about water and water cycle. Looking for business to donate gift certificates or prizes. The education committee is also planning to participate in the County Fair and possibly sell apple pie in addition to using this opportunity to educate people.
Next meeting: Thursday, July 28, 7:00 pm, 224 Overdale St., Apt. A
University Committee: Their website calling for a resolution and special session is now obsolete. The media committee will help the university committee fix their website. At the faculty senate meeting, Clemens promised to have a presentation on fracking. The university committee will focus on getting a more balanced presentation than just WVU “experts” at this presentation. The Education Committee will focus on how to get students involved when they get back.
Legal Committee: Planned presentations for upcoming meeting on July 25, tonight at 7:30 pm the WV University College of Law. The LC came out with 12 points they think are essential for regulations. In preparation for the July 25 meeting, an invitation to speak was sent out through Face book and WV4MOM’s email list. On Sunday evening, July 24, Action Committee together with the Legal Committee and others met to discuss regulations and prepare for the July 25 meeting.
Action Committee: Action Committee are focusing on research and formulating long-term plans. Another MHS meeting is planned for after WVU students return. AC will work to facilitate other WV4MOM branches throughout the state. Currently four branches of WV4MOM are starting and being developed in WV. More will follow about them.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, July 27, 4 pm, 644 Grand St.
Five helpful steps to follow in speaking at the Joint Select Committee Hearings:
By Jim Kotcon
1) Keep your points focused. The chair allowed only 2 minute per person, and everyone almost always ran out of time to say very much. I recommend writing out some key points and do a practice with a stop watch to make sure you get in the key statements. ( I hate it when I have a really powerful finish planned and never get to use it because I run out of time, it just leaves the whole presentation with a weak, dangling end.) If the Morgantown crowd is even bigger, the time allowed will likely be cut proportionately. 2) Show up early. I recommend at least one hour before the start if you want to speak early. We were there 40 minutes early, and there were already 18 speakers signed up ahead of me. 3) Coordinate who says what. With only 120 seconds to speak, it is important to avoid wasting valuable seconds repeating a point that has already been made a dozen times. Practice your statement with a stop watch. 4) Write out specific suggestions for rules, as this is more likely to get included into a bill than vague statements of support or opposition to drilling generally. Even if you don't have time to say everything, written comments are more easily incorporated into a bill by Committee staff. 5) Practice your statement with a stop watch. Download WVSC positions to help prepare your speech.
Three important public hearings with the Legislatures Joint Select Committee on Marcellus Shale are occuring this month.
1. Thursday, July 21st in Wheeling. at 7:30 p.m. in Northern Community College's main auditorium.
2. July 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Morgantown at the West Virginia University College of Law.
3. July 27 in Clarksburg at 7:30PM in the auditorium at Robert C. Byrd High School
Jim Kotcon described the format of these meetings, "It looks like the hearings will be limited to 90 minutes, and will use a format typical of legislative committee hearings. In my experience, that means people will sign up to speak, and the Chair will allot time accordingly. So if 30 people sign up, we would be limited to 3 minutes each (or maybe only 2 minutes), but if only 9 sign up, we would get 10 minutes each, etc. They will accept written comments as well. Other formats are possible, but that is what it looks like for now. They are specifically requesting input on amendments that are needed. I would expect a turnout of industry execs and lobbyists at these hearings, so plan for a limited amount of time."
"We are looking for constructive comments from the public about how we can address their concerns," said Delegate Tim Manchin, D-Marion, chairman for the House side of the joint committee. "Some members of the public may have issues or ideas that we have not considered."
Committee members from the House will attend; the Senate Committee is not planning any public hearings. They are using Senate legislation SB 424 from the last legislative session as a starting point. Apparantly, this bill will be available to the public on the front page of www.legis.state.wv.us prior to the first hearing.
Comprehensive videos taken of the July 11th Rally in front of the WV State Capital. Produced by Jeremy Brannon.
In this article from the Riverkeeper about Robert Kennedy's appointment to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel, he is quoted as saying:
“Because of the reckless conduct of the industry over the past several years, as well as my growing concerns about the greenhouse gas impacts associated with shale gas extraction and about the potential for the investment and infrastructure required by aggressive natural gas exploitation to divert resources away from the development of alternative fuels, I have changed my thinking and have asked members of the industry to stop using any statements I may have made in the past in support of natural gas. My position now is that I oppose moving forward with permitting of all new horizontal hydrofracking activities until more responsible leadership emerges within the industry, best practices are required by law, and state and federal regulatory agencies have the staff and resources to provide reliable oversight.”
Rather than close the Halliburton Loophole in the Federal Clean Water Act to bring fracking fluids under regulation, the Republicans in the House, including our own McKinley and Capito, have decided to allow each State to compete in a race toward the elimination of clean water in hopes of attracting more money. The EPA would be powerless to override a State's determination. Even more amazing is that WV could allow dumping in the Mon and Ohio Rivers over the objections of OH and PA. Our next fight--the Senate. We need to defeat this bill and to recognize that our work with the WV Legislature is even more important now.
Read more about HR 2018 here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-2018
Next fight--the Senate. We need to defeat this bill and to recognize that our work with the WV Legislature is even more important now.
Please write to your senators and tell them that you oppose HR 2018. Here is the contact information: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?State=WV