The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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Our Readers Speak

June 12, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stand together against injection well

I recently read in The Charleston Gazette and The Register-Herald about the potential re-authorization of Danny Webb Construction’s permit for an injection well that will pump unlimited amounts of oil and gas drilling waste from Nicholas County into the bedrock beneath Oak Hill.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has received numerous complaints regarding Danny Webb Construction. Notably, in 2004 the DEP received complaints of a sulfurous odor that, when investigated, was revealed to be due to the discharge of fluids into a holding pit (an open pit).

In response to the violation, WVDEP ordered the company to remedy the situation via a five-step process. The company only completed one step, according the records obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request from the Sierra Club.

In May and June 2008 the company was cited three times for an unpermitted underground injection well and other violations. The Fayette County Health Officer has also raised concerns about the operation, concerns that have heretofore been ignored in the permitting process. It is clear that this company does not have the capability to properly, safely run this type of operation.

As a 43-year resident of Oak Hill, I was shocked to learn that these activities were being conducted here, and more shocked to learn that this operator has been re-permitted in spite of multiple violations. This is absolutely unacceptable.

I ask that you stand with your constituents, (author’s note: the writer has sent this letter to all of the state’s legislative representatives) the residents of Oak Hill, and ensure that Mr. Webb’s re-permitting application is denied. Our water table is nothing to be trifled with. It is an irreplaceable resource that, once damaged, cannot be repaired. To allow an operator with such a spotty track record in terms of safety to continue to endanger the health and welfare of Oak Hill residents is unconscionable.

Thank you for your prompt response and attention to this matter.

Joseph O. Vallina Jr.

Oak Hill


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