Marcellus Ban Not The Only Gas Related Issue Discussed At Pocahontas County Commission Meeting
Marlinton, WV – During the most recent Pocahontas County Commission meeting, the Commissioners accepted a petition from concerned county residents asking for a ban on Marcellus Shale drilling in the county. The Commissioners also voted unanimously to send a letter to the West Virginia Dept of Environmental Protection in response to the DEP’s request for public comment on proposed new rules regarding the practice of hydraulic fracturing gas drilling. The letter lists the reasons why the Commissioners feel that the current proposed rules are inadequate and don’t address the concerns of the community.
The Commissioners asked County Assessor Dolan Irvine to prepare a map of all privately held gas leases in Pocahontas since 2007. Irvine says he’s glad to put the information together, and estimates it will take one to three months to gather all the information. He also says that he will make it available in GIS form, so that others can access the information as well.
They also spoke with Lynmarie Knight of the county Water Resource Task Force about collecting baseline water data. Knight outlined several considerations to think about including what to test for, when to test, and how to ensure that the results will hold up to scrutiny if challenged in court. She updated the Commissioners on the status of the county water management plan. She says the first phase is currently under review. Additional stakeholder meetings are scheduled before they begin work on phases two and three of the management plan.
In other business, the Commission opened the bids for the last phase of the East Fork Industrial Park Remediation project. Six bids were submitted; the lowest bidder is RBS, Inc. out of White Sulphur Springs with a bid of $398,267.00. Project engineer John Swecker says he will review the bid, and if it meets the criteria, will submit the information to the USDA for their approval.
The Commissioners also opened two bids for custodial services at the One Room University in Marlinton. Both bids were rejected as being excessively high. Pocahontas County Coordinator Jay Miller says he will follow up with the two companies to see why their bids were so high.
The Commission also appointed Morgan McComb to the Pocahontas County Farmland Protection Board.
The next meeting of the Pocahontas County Commission is Monday, October 3rd.