The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas issued two well work permits on May 27 that include additional conditions to Northeast Natural Energy, LLC, to drill horizontal wells on property along Dunkard Creek in Monongalia County.
Because the agency and the community are concerned about protecting Dunkard Creek following the 2009 fish kill, certain conditions have been written into the permit in an effort to address potential concerns about how the company will protect the nearby stream. These conditions, which are specific provisions not normally required in such permits, were developed with the cooperation of the company.
Northeast will establish two specific conductivity monitoring stations on Dunkard Creek at points strategically selected both upstream and downstream of the well site. Additional secondary containment will be installed; a closed-loop system will be utilized; and there will be no on-site disposal of any waste produced or created during the drilling, completion or other operational phase associated with the well.
“We are keenly aware of the concerns people may have about the location of these wells in relation to Dunkard Creek,” said James Martin, Chief of the Office of Oil and Gas. “The applications have met all of the rules and regulations that govern the issuance of these permits. With the added conditions that have been written into the permits, we believe the stream and ground water are adequately protected.”
Well work permits do not allow drillers to discharge anything into nearby streams and all permits require sediment and erosion control measures for surface water protection and an approved casing and cementing plan for groundwater protection.