Eight Rivers Council to work with Nicholas volunteers
Wednesday night's Eight Rivers Council meeting hosted volunteers from Richwood in Nicholas County, where drilling for natural gas in Marcellus shale has already begun. The council hopes to work in conjunction with volunteers from Nicholas County to force a moratorium on gas drilling in West Virginia until tighter regulations are established.
At the end of the meeting, councilmembers gave a PowerPoint presentation to the visitors. The presentation addressed water consumption and the effects on local water tables, wastewater disposal and the lack of oversight in the drilling industry. The information also covered the hazards of gas drilling and included photographs of existing gas drilling operations throughout the country.
One of the council's major concerns is the impact gas drilling will have on tourism and the local economy.
"It will ruin it. It will be devastating. Even if we had great regulations, inspections, if everything was done right and they didn't contaminate any wells; there are still thousands of trucks, and noise and lights and dust," said Beth Little, Secretary/treasurer for the council. "This is not an industrial area, this is a natural area. People come here for it."
In other business, the council:
ﾕ Addressed its financial statement and recent donations.
ﾕ Reported that since the September meeting, the council has acquired more signatures to its petition, approximately 750 to date. The petition was presented to the Pocahontas County Commission on September 20.
ﾕ Councilmember Lynmarie Knight informed the council that she recently attended a Health Department board meeting. At the meeting a statement recognizing the potential threats to public health associated with Marcellus shale drilling was approved.
The council talked about their recent trip to Wetzel County, where gas wells have been operating for three years. They agreed to arrange for future trips for others who want to see the wells in operation.
"It's really scary. If you saw what it's like in Wetzel County, where it's really being developed, there are wells visible. If you go up on the hill, there are wells everywhere and big trucks and fumes," said Little.
Discussed the success of their recent presentation in Greenbrier County where they spoke to a local sociology class.