GUEST EDITORIAL: WV DEP; Blatant Disregard For Public Health Duke University Study Alleges

Updated 4 years ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
GUEST EDITORIAL:  WV DEP; Blatant Disregard For Public Health Duke University Study Alleges

The following situation in Fayette County exemplifies the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) disregard for public safety. There are other examples, but this one has been studied by Duke University and the U.S. Geological Survey. These scientists found high levels of endocrine-disruptors and frack-fingerprint chemicals in affected water sources.:

Since before 2007, Pennsylvania has been sending frack waste-water, too radioactive to be economically disposed under PA laws, to a dump in Lochgelly, WV. Also containing diesel, plus toxic chemicals, this material was found to be leaking into a creek above the primary water intake for Oak Hill, Fayetteville and Lochgelly. Yet, despite public outcry, the DEP allowed the dump operator to cover the leaking sludge pit with a liner without first removing the contents, and continued to renew the permit until 2013. The dump owner was then issued a "consent decree", and though constantly being issued citations, the facility operates today. (for video, go to

The DEP is, further, covering up an intractable problem with hydrofracturing. The hundreds of millions of gallons of frack-waste brine generated daily are exceptionally radioactive according to EPA and USGS studies. They also contain chemicals like 4NQO, which Is highly carcinogenic even in parts per TRILLION. This waste has nowhere safe to go. Yet, on PBS, National Public Radio and before the WV Legislature, the DEP stated that radioactivity in frack waste is a non-issue in WV. Chemicals were not mentioned.

The DEP also testified before the WV House Rules Committee this past summer, that drainage from WV landfills where frack drill-cuttings are being placed, has not shown radioactivity above background level. But, for the last 2 years, Wetzel Co. Solid Waste Disposal Authority has been sending bi-monthly samples of such landfill drainage, for EPA-certified testing. It showed radioactivity peaks of 650 times background. .

Now, in a Nov.1,local FM broadcast, spokespersons for the WV Div. of Highways reported that they will be using hydrofracturing brine to deice West Virginia roads. Overseen by the DEP, these Highway officials assured us that such toxin-laden, radioactive waste "is just salt water" <br><br>

(Barbara Davis, the writer, is a Richwood, WV resident)

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