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Off-Grid Couple Seeks Data on WV Gas Wells
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by George Monk & Molly Schaffnit, Poca, WV | 2009

In September 2008 we began to document natural gas wells near the border between Kanawha and Putnam counties. Our 2008 study focused on wells operated by one company, the company that intends to drill on our property, though we also examined other sites.

We found in 2008 that 37 percent of the well sites we examined lacked the required API number (a unique well identifier standardized by the American Petroleum Institute), and 68 percent did not have secondary containment for storage tanks holding oil. The containment dike is required in case of tank leaks or overflows, which would imperil water sources.

We’ve continued our study in 2009, visiting sites operated by a number of companies (with similar percentages of sites lacking API numbers or adequate secondary containment dikes). We are also doing environmental assessments at select sites.

Currently, we are working on a Marcellus well site in Kanawha County drilled a few years ago that has exposed pit waste amid a large perimeter of exposed black plastic we believe is pit liner.

Information Wanted

We are seeking information in a number of areas. We would like Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) information about products used for well drilling, fracturing, and maintenance in West Virginia. This will be shared with The Endocrine Disruption Exchange.

We are also actively seeking information about spills, leaks, problem pits, fizzing around well heads — anything of possible importance. We want to document these problems so necessary changes in regulations can be sought.

We can be reached by email,, or by leaving a phone message, 304-993-8491. Links to more gas well information, and more about us, can be found on our blog at

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