Area Group to Host Forum on Fracking and Pipeline Issues

Meeting set for Nov. 11 at Jackson’s Mill from 6-8 p.m.

Special to the Appalachian Chronicle

Note: This is the eighth installment in a series about fracking, (hydraulic fracturing for natural gas), controversial because of its impact on public safety and health, as well as the environment.

JACKSON’S MILL, W.Va. – A multi-county citizen group from the North Central West Virginia area has formed to educate area residents about the challenges associated with hydraulic fracturing and pipeline issues. Landowners and other concerned citizens from Lewis, Upshur, Gilmer, Doddridge, Harrison and Wetzel counties and beyond are expected to attend.

The meeting is scheduled for Nov. 11 at the Jackson’s Mill Assembly Hall and will feature a panel of expert speakers and individuals whose quality of life and health have been directly affected by fracking. Several West Virginia organizations will be represented, including West Virginia Surface Owners’ Rights Organization (WVSORO), Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority, the West Virginia Host Farms Program, and Doddridge County Watershed Group.

Trucks hauling solid waste from fracking sites line up at the Wetzel County landfill. Photo by Bill Hughes
Trucks hauling solid waste from fracking sites line up at the Wetzel County landfill.
Photo by Bill Hughes

There will be multiple opportunities to ask questions during and after the meeting.

Barbara Volk, a Lewis County landowner and co-organizer of the event explained, “It is important for citizens to know the many challenges associated with the entire process. A couple of months ago, Consol Energy held a forum at Jackson’s Mill, but did not conduct the meeting in a way that allowed for an exchange of information and views. People in attendance felt as if their voices were not being heard. So, we are holding a more democratic forum with expert presenters so that residents can learn about the issues associated with these activities.”

The main presenter will be Bill Hughes of Wetzel County. Hughes is a 36-year resident of Wetzel County. He is a retired electrical contractor who owns 79 acres near New Martinsville, and has worked for Dominion and Consolidated Aluminum. He has been a member of the board for the Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority for the last 13 years, and been the chairman of that body for the last four.

The presentation by Hughes will focus on the production stages of hydraulic fracturing, including topics of production, waste, contamination, pipelines, and many others.

Jody Mohr of Salem will present on water contamination and lifestyle change living near a frack site. Julie Archer of WVSORO, will be presenting on landowners’’ rights, eminent domain, and leasing information. Diane Pitcock will also present the West Virginia Host Farms Program, what it does, and the many benefits for its members.

Attendance is free and open to the public.

For additional information, contact April Keating: 304-642-9436 or apkeating@hotmail.com

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