WV SORO Update Archive

June 19, 2013

Infrastructure Committee to Hear from WV-DOT on Marcellus Impacts Thursday in Wheeling

The Select Committee on Infrastructure will be meeting tomorrow (Thursday, June 20) to discuss the oil and gas industry with regards to roadways in Northern West Virginia. The meeting is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at West Virginia Northern Community College in Wheeling.

In a press release sent out by Senate President Jeff Kessler, Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bob Beach (D-Monongalia) said, “This provides a rare opportunity for legislators outside of this region to see and hear about the unique road challenges and needs. The oil and gas industry, while welcome and needed in West Virginia, is placing significant hardships on local roadways.”

Senator Beach, who also serves on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Highway Commission, says he spoke with Senate President Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall) about this rare opportunity for such a meeting and they both agreed it was necessary.

“This will give committee members a broader perspective in the ultimate legislation they pass,” said Kessler.  “Lawmakers will have the opportunity to see firsthand the effects of the Marcellus Shale boom on the area. They will see the much needed growth driven by the natural gas industry, but also the housing issues and damage to roadways.”

The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WV-DOT) will be on hand to answer questions and make recommendations to the committee. 

Please note that is not a public hearing or forum, but there will likely be opportunities to talk with legislators and WV-DOT representatives before and after the meeting.  Folks in the Wheeling area with concerns about transportation and infrastructure issues related to Marcellus Shale development are encouraged to attend. 

Wellness and Water II ~ Pre-Registration Deadline Friday, June 21

Just a reminder that due to deadlines imposed by our venue, this Friday June 21 is pre-registration deadline for Wellness & Water II. On the day of the conference, late registrations will be accepted at the door, but on-location meals may not be available for late registrants.

You can register online here. The cost of the event, including snacks and meals, is $40. Lodging is extra.

If you prefer to pay at the door rather than register online, please let us know by this Friday so we can include you in our head count for Wesleyan.

For more  information please contact Julie Archer at julie@wvsoro.org or 304-346-5891.

The conference will focus on the mountaintop removal coal mining and Marcellus Shale drilling and waste disposal related to these activities pose to our health and our drinking water, and measures we can take to safeguard our wellness and our water.   There's a full day on Saturday, June 29, featuring two plenary speakers, panelists and workshops. After social events that evening, the forum will resume on Sunday, June 30 with a half-day of solution focused speakers and roundtable discussions.

Click here to download a flier or reply to this e-mail for details.

Contact Bill Price at bill.price@sierraclub.org or 304-389-8822 for information on scholarships.

Julie Archer at julie@wvsoro.org or 304-346-5891 for general information.

Sponsored by Sierra Club WV, WV Surface Owners’ Rights Organization, Doddridge County Watershed Association, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy. 

WV Sierra Club Announces Speakers for Marcellus Academy 2013 ~ July 13-14,2013

Dr. Ben Stout of Wheeling Jesuit University, Charlotte Pritt,  Professors Michael McCawley & Alan Collins of WVU and  WV-DEP Officials are headlining this weekend of presentations an workshops on Marcellus Shale gas drilling at WV Wesleyan College in Buckhannon.  Read on for more details. 
Dr. Ben Stout, Professor of Biology at Wheeling Jesuit University, will speak on the mounting problems with toxic drilling waste and the proposed Wheeling wastewater facility

Mike McCawley, School of Public Health at WVU is in charge of measuring air pollution effects from Marcellus drilling for a legislatively mandated DEP study due this July.

Charlotte Pritt, former State Senator and environmental advocate: The WV Legislature – Who’s Who and How It Works.

Alan Collins, Professor and Assistant Director, Division of Resource Management at WVU will speak on "Split Estates and Surface Owner Perceptions of Shale Gas Drilling".

Gene Smith, WV Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Assistant Chief-Permitting and Rick Campbell, Inspector Supervisor, will discuss aspects of their agency’s role in gas drilling.

The weekend will also feature:

  • A panel of experts on Community Organizing and Planning will cover organizing local watershed groups, forming grassroots groups that can monitor industry activity, creating official Marcellus Gas Study Committees within your county commission, and creating land use planning for county commissions to use as a model for home rule
  • Diane Pitcock’s West Virginia Host Farms Program, linking WV landowners with media and the environmental community to illustrate the impact of Marcellus shale gas drilling
  • Bill Hughes’ primer on all those big trucks: what are they, what do they do?  What drilling phase is happening when certain trucks and equipment arrive at a well site?
  • Beth Little’s history of violations at the underground injection well in Lochgelly, WV and what that says about the WV UIC program
  • George Monk: Citizen Gas Well Monitoring Project; learning to monitor wells in your area: "Digging deeper, using publicly available databases and FOIA requests."
  • Cindy Rank’s Tall Trees Marcellus Well Site Description, photos and briefing in preparation for a field trip to a nearby Marcellus gas drilling site: up close and personal
  • An Open Session for guest videos, slide shows and personal stories
Marcellus Academy III is less than a month away.  If you haven’t registered yet, what are you waiting for?
This jam packed weekend is an educational opportunity for activists who will proactively work on Marcellus gas drilling issues in their communities.  Because the surge in industrial scale drilling sites is causing such major problems with our water, our land, our air and our health, it has become crucial to quickly build citizen awareness of the inherent dangers. This program will focus on giving you the tools to effectively organize others, build grassroots networks of reporters who can monitor industry practices, and help guide local leaders toward environmentally sound Marcellus policies.

Space is limited, so please apply as soon as possible by sending your name, address, county, and phone number to outreach@marcellus-wv.com.  If you can’t come, but know somebody in your community who fits our guidelines, please let us know. They should be folks who can make a clear commitment to do what it takes to build local grassroots action on their home turf.

Applicants are not required to be affiliated with any particular organization, however only a limited number of registrations will be accepted. Applicants will be considered based primarily on geographical region, resulting in new organizers in as many regions as possible. All expenses for the workshop (lodging, meals, and mileage) will be covered by WV Sierra Club.  The program will run from 9:30AM Saturday until 3:30PM Sunday.

For more information contact Chuck Wyrostok, Sierra Club Outreach Organizer at 877 252 0257 or outreach@marcellus-wv.com.

West Virginia Surface Owners' Rights Organization
1500 Dixie Street, Charleston, West Virginia 25311