Nicholas County Residents Come To Pocahontas To Get Info On Marcellus

Marlinton, WV – Several residents of Nicholas County were in Pocahontas County recently to share information about Marcellus drilling activities in their county. They attended a meeting of the Eight Rivers Council, a group dedicated to preventing the practice of horizontal drilling from coming to Pocahontas County. Teresa Higgins from Nicholas County says seismic testing and some test drilling going on now.

“They do three of those big hydraulic trucks; each of them weighs 30 tons,” says Higgins. “They deliver more than a stick of dynamite charge whent they hit the ground with that. So it’s not just the impact of the fracking, it’s the impact of what they’re doing before the fracking.”

Bruce Essig, who’s worked in seismic exploration explains why they do the testing, including using dynamite and thumper trucks.

“The thumpers and everything are used to send sound waves in the ground and they’re recording reflections because sound carries a memory,” he says. “It goes through different densities at different velocities; and they can tell what formations and the hardness of rock.”

He says various chemicals are also used in the process, to stabilize the ground once the testing is complete. The Nicholas county group had come to Pocahontas to view a presentation by Beth Little on Marcellus shale drilling and potential effects the practice can have on a community. Many of them feel they are at ground zero as gas companies are already bringing in trucks and equipment to drill. Little did try to give the Nicholas folks some hope that the WV will take some positive steps on this issue later this fall.

“In June, there was a select committee of 10 members appointed, five from the [West Virginia] Senate, five from the House to come up with a bill,” says Little. “And [Governor] Tomblin said that if they came up with a bill those 10 members agreed on, he would call a special session. And it didn’t start off well, but then they met in September, and they passed all but three or four amendments that were on the list to fix the legislation and apparently next week they have October interims [meetings] and they plan to take up the rest of the amendments. It’s looking good that there’ll be a special session in November and they’ll pass this bill.”

They thanked Little for the presentation and the information, pledging to take it back to the Richwood Town Council and others.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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