WV DEP Holds Hearing on Proposed Injection Well in Upshur Co.

Mountain V Oil and Gas owns a Marcellus Shale well drilled in 2014 in Upshur County, WV that was a bust. You don’t often hear about Marcellus wells that don’t produce. Because their Marcellus well is a non-producer, Mountain V wants to convert it into a wastewater injection well. The neighbors are not happy about it. The WV Dept. of Environmental Protection held a public hearing last week about the proposal. Twelve local residents spoke at the hearing–every one of them against the project. No one spoke in favor. Is that really a surprise? The comments made at the hearing referred to the potential for earthquakes and pollution of the water table. Here’s what the good (but misinformed) residents of Upshur don’t understand about injection wells: (1) There are hundreds of thousands of them across the country, and have been for decades. (2) The wastewater (brine) going down the proposed injection well first came up from the same deep sources–we’re just putting it back where it came from. (3) If the well is properly cased, and rest assured these wells are heavily regulated and regularly checked, there is no way for the wastewater to seep back up to the surface. The water was down there for millennia and didn’t make its way to the surface, so why would it now? (4) Earthquakes can happen, but only when massive amounts of fluids are injected into an existing fault, or crack, in the rock layers. Earthquakes from injection wells, at least in the northeast, are as rare as hen’s teeth. Look, in all honesty, we wouldn’t be overly thrilled with an injection well locating near us either. However, if you’re going to object, as a first step you need to get your facts straight. Here’s more about last week’s hearing and the lack of facts (and wild statements) that circulated at that meeting…

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