A driller is taking water from a stream to drill or “frac” an oil or gas well. Can they do that?

[NOTE: We have been informed that this information is incorrect.  As soon as we have time to determine the exact statuts of the law in this area and compose a web page we will update this page.]

According to an e-mail the State Office of Oil and Gas sent to its inspectors and others, water in a stream is technically the property of the State.  The driller has to get a permit from Division of Natural Resources to withdraw it.  The permit can be granted on a job per stream basis, or an applicant can request a permit to allow the intake of water for a specified period of time.  The turn-around time for the permit is generally 21 days.  Application forms can be seen on the West Virginia State Government home page, Division of Natural Resources, “Office of Land and Streams,” “Division of Natural Resources Stream Activity Application “.

If you think someone is pumping without a permit, or if you have a complaint about the permit, contact the Chief of the Division of Natural Resources,  at 558-3225, or by calling the regional DNR Captains noted on this map.  (Our experience with complaints and questions under the DEP Office of Oil and Gas, is that you get better response contacting the headquarters in Charleston.  We do not know if the same applies to DNR.)

We do not yet have much experience or knowledge about these permits and what happens when people complain.  If you contact DNR, please contact us about the experience you have, so we can give better advice to the next person.  Thanks!

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