The following proclamation is written by citizens of West Virginia concerned about the need for Marcellus Shale legislation. This document makes demands for protections and calls for the lawmakers of West Virginia to come together this summer to pass meaningful, ethical, specific, binding and sustainable legislation for Marcellus Shale horizontal hydraulic shale drilling and fracking.
PROCLAMATION OF WEST VIRGINIANS FOR A MORATORIUM ON MARCELLUS
We advocate for a moratorium on Marcellus shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing until adequate legislation is in place to regulate and enforce regulation to protect drinking water, air quality, roads, surface owners and sensitive environmental areas. Attention has not been given to the aggregate impacts of all stages of the Marcellus extraction process, and dangers of spills, leaks, illegal dumping and explosion incidents. Areas with a longer history of this process provide evidence that public safety is being compromised. Inspectors do not have the tools to deny permits or to enforce adequate regulations for this new version of natural gas extraction. We therefore demand regulations addressing the following issues be in place before drilling and hydraulic fracturing continue.
1. Advance public notice of and comment on all stages in permitting and drilling
2. Adequate permit fees and bonding amounts to mitigate damage by drilling or associated operations
3. Protection of surface owners’ property and rights, pipeline regulations
4. Water withdrawal monitoring and permitting to protect streams and rivers
5. Enhance inspection of casing/cementing as critical for groundwater protection and additional well casing to prevent gas migration
6. Full protection of all water wells, with adequate setbacks and testing, baseline and post drilling and fracking and one year later
7. Increased funding for more inspectors to assure safe practices
8. Reform method of certifying and selecting new gas inspectors
9. Removal and proper disposal of drilling pits
10. Disclosure of fracking fluid contents and safety plans for accidents
11. Protect public lands: state parks, wildlife areas, and state forests
12. GPS devices on hauling trucks and access to electronic logbooks by WVDEP inspectors to track illegal dumping
13.Ban disposal of processed water in abandoned mines and karst areas
14. Testing of all flow back water
15. Require air quality permits, monitoring, and enforcement. Drillers be required to use enhanced air pollution controls on engines used at well pads, and use of existing pipelines when available rather than flaring gas
16.Permit limits based on aggregate impact of number of wells in an area and their cumulative impacts on traffic, water withdrawal, and air quality
17. Provision to plug failed or finished wells
18. WVDEP must notify local governments of each well permit application, and drillers must certify that their plans are consistent with local land use and zoning laws.
Please sign our proclamation.