WV Conference Speaker Says PA is Tops with Spill Containment Regs

The main focus for the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association’s ShaleSafe Conference and Expo at Oglebay Park in Wheeling this week was silica dust exposure (see MDN’s related article published today). However, another session was a close second as Topic A–the session on spill containment. The sole presenter on spill containment was Beth Powell from New Pig Energy. Spill containment became a huge topic for everyone in West Virginia after a chemical spill related to coal mining affected the drinking water for 300,000 WV residents earlier this year. In the aftermath of that spill, the WV legislature passed new regulations for chemical storage tanks–regulations that affect not only the coal industry guilty of the spill, but also the shale drilling industry too (see Impact of WV’s New Chemical Tank Law on Marcellus Drillers).

Ms. Powell had some interesting things to say about spill containment–and she should know since well pad containment systems are New Pig’s business. Among her comments, Powell said Pennsylvania’s Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations are far more strict than either West Virginia or Ohio when it comes to spills and spill containment. Now that’s something you don’t hear from anti-drillers in PA who try to paint the DEP as lax, derelict in their duty, and in bed with the drilling industry…

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