WVU Prof Tells Legislators 625′ Setback in Drilling is Not Enough

A West Virginia University professor that helped prepare a report for the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) continues to voice concerns about the way the WVDEP has interpreted the results of the study he helped research. In June the WVDEP released a third and final study (this one on air quality) required under WV’s 2011 Horizontal Well Control legislation. The report as issued by the WVDEP says based on the results of the research study, no new regulations are needed to control air emissions around drilling sites (see WVDEP Releases Study on Air Quality Impacts of Shale Drilling).

However, Dr. Michael McCawley, chairman of the Dept. of Occupational & Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at WVU and author of the original “raw” report, said he thinks air emissions from Marcellus and Utica shale drilling do need tweaking, particularly the amount of distance required from a well site to the nearest structure, like a home or school (called a “setback”). McCawley thinks 625 feet from the center of a well pad is not enough (see Did WVDEP Ignore It’s Own Research on Shale Well Air Pollution?). On Monday Dr. McCawley was back before WV legislators making the same argument…

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