Members of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition gathered the public Monday night in Westmoreland, near Huntington, to discuss the Rogersville Shale.
The forum was designed to inform the public of a newly discovered shale formation, the Rogersville Shale. The shale is concentrated in Calhoun, Roane, Jackson, Kanawha, Putnam, Lincoln, Wayne and Cabell counties in West Virginia, but also extends into Kentucky. Dianne Bady is with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.
"There is a lot of interest on the part of oil and gas companies in the very deep Rogersville shale formation that underlies parts of eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia," Bady said.
The forum featured presenters who have been affected by the influx of fracking in the northern Marcellus Shale region of West Virginia, each with a different story about what fracking has done to their community. Bady says they just want to inform and educate before things begin to change because of the new shale discovery.
"Before this part of the state is turned into a major oil and natural gas production area and transformed into something that looks nothing like it does now that people in the area ought to know what’s going on and have a say in what kind of economic development we want to see in this part of the state," Bady said.
Marilyn Howells is from Wayne County and has already received a letter about purchasing her mineral rights. She says just wants people in the region to think about what fracking could mean and to make sure to consult others before making a decision.
"It’s all kind of in a way that you can’t control things how they, are and I think everyone should go to a lawyer and see, I’m just throwing out ideas that crossed my mind," Howells said.
Test wells for the Rogersville shale have been established in Putnam County and across the river from Wayne County in Lawrence County, Kentucky.