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Leak Found at Fayette Frack Waste Site

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

  Updated June 6, 2014

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says the leak occurred in a tank carrying oil and gas waste from the above ground pits and not a pipe.

The DEP says about 20 to 30 gallons spewed for two to three hours through a pinhole in a joint weld.

The DEP says the "failure in the line" was above ground.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says there indeed was a leak earlier this month in a pipe carrying oil and gas waste from an above ground pit, to an underground injection well in Lochghelly in Fayette County.

As we reported earlier this week, Danny Webb Construction is working to close and reclaim an above ground pit holding waste from the oil and gas industry, including frackwater.

The DEP confirmed that residents’ concerns about leakage during the process were valid. The DEP says there was a leak earlier this month in a pipe carrying wastewater to an underground injection well on the property.

The state environmental agency says the leak was fixed and the impacted soil was dug up and disposed of in a landfill.

The reclamation work comes months after the DEP ordered the pits closed because the operator needed to update the lining and install a leak detection system.

Danny Webb Construction used the pits to remove sediments before injecting into a UIC or underground injection well. The permit for this well expired in 2012 but was renewed February 2014, only to be revoked in early March.

Since then, the DEP changed the application for this type of well. The changes include a new format structured to look more like the permit applications used by the DEP's Division of Water and Waste Management, and also inclusion of additional guidance on what is needed for the application.

As of Wednesday the operator had not resubmitted a permit application. Environmental groups and citizen Brad Keenan are appealing the revocation because it appears to allow the operator to continue to collect waste just the same as if the permit were approved. A hearing before the Quality Control Board is set for June 12 at the Charleston DEP office.

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