Pocahontas PSD Hires Environmental Lawyer

Durbin, WV –
The Pocahontas County Public Service District board approved the hiring of Lewisburg Attorney William Turner at their regular meeting Tuesday night. The board already has legal representation provided by Chris Negley of the Charleston firm Shuman, McCusky and Slicer. PSD Chairman Tom Shipley says the additional hire was suggested by Richard Weigand, Executive Director of the West Virginia Environmental Training Center.

“We were recommended [to hire an environmental attorney]” says Shipley. “Chris is our general attorney and can work as an environmental attorney, but there are other attorneys who specialize in permit writing and working with the [West Virginia Dept of Environmental Protection].”

Negley formerly worked for the West Virginia Dept of Environmental Protection prior to joining his law firm. Turner is familiar with the Pocahontas PSD, having formerly worked with George Phillips of Eight Rivers Safe Development. Phillips has been an outspoken critic of the Thrasher Engineering proposal for the regional sewer plant.

New PSD board member David Litsey also agrees with the need for additional legal expertise. He says the PSD is facing a multi-pronged attack from the DEP and the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

“But now we’ve got three or four attacks going on” says Litsey. “Particularly if you looked at the last thing from Mr. Toon and his crew up there was “Well we normally don’t overturn the role of a democracy in determining its own fate, but if we can generate enough fines fast enough, then it might affect somebody and we can overthrow this thing.”

Cass Toon is the staff attorney for the West Virginia Public Service Commission. A case to proceed with the Thrasher Engineering proposal filed by Snowshoe Mountain, Russell Holt, Ralph Beckwith, Harvey Galford, Ike Morris and Frank Santmyer is being considered by the Commission.

In other business, the board rescinded their decision to approve a bid from Americast Corps for a flow control vault, a critical part of the current sewer system. In reviewing the $18,000.00 estimate for the part, sewer manager Lloyd Coleman discovered a $12,000.00 mistake, increasing the estimate to $30,000.00. The board voted to accept the next higher estimate from CI Thornburg for just over $23,000.00.

The board will hold a work session on Monday, Oct 4th at 2pm at the Snowshoe sewer office. They will discuss their response to a WV DEP request and criteria for the hiring of additional personnel.

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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