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Proposed Regulation

Improvements in WV-DEP rule (35-CSR-4):

1. Require leaking wells to be repaired, or ordered closed.

2. Require fencing of pits/impoundments.

3. Require landowner notification and approval of reclamation alterations, as well as start of operations (with more reasonable lead time).

Proposed New Legislation:

1. TDS Standards (250 mg/l) state wide.

2. Improved funding for DEP

3. Eliminate Blanket Bond process (Currently $50,000 per company, which is inadequate to plug wells ($8-10,000 each) after their useful life.

4. Road repair bonds or similar requirements to maintain public roads damaged by heavy trucks carrying drill rigs and frac water.  Also need some kind of traffic safety control during times school buses are on the road.

5. Regulate water withdrawals and disposal (cradle-to-grave water permits with documentation; i.e. records of where water came from and where it went).

6. Limits on withdrawals during low-flow periods, (e.g., flows less than 60 % of annual average flow).

7. Public disclosure of fracing chemicals used beforehand.  (Emergency responders need to know what they are dealing in case of a spill or accident without waiting.)

8. Additional studies required for permits in karst geology.

9. Amend W.Va. Code 22-6-6(d) to require a sediment control plan for well plugging and site remediation operations (currently exempted).

10. Require pits to be lined, operators to maintain the integrity of liners, and pits and liner materials to be disposed of at approved facilities, rather than buried on-site.

11. Require the operator to test all wells and springs used for domestic purposes, within 1000 feet of a well prior to drilling and record tests with DEP permit.  Tests should include major ions, methane, NORMs, and fracking constituents.

12. Prohibit disposal of brine, including coal bed methane brines in underground mines.

13. Prohibit disposal of brines or frac water in publicly-owned waste water treatment facilities (unless they are specifically designed to treat such waters.

14. Reform process for hiring inspectors to reduce industry influence.  Eliminate the current industry majority and require conflict-of-interest provisions for Oil and Gas Inspectors Board.

15. Additional funding mechanisms for inspections and enforcement (currently WV-DEP has 17 inspectors for 40,000 wells, with 900-3000 new well permits per year.)

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  • Share your concerns with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at 304-926-0499.

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  • WV DEP Spill Hotline 1-800-642-3074
  • National Response Center 1-800-424-8802
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