Shale Energy Law Blog
West Virginia Pit and Impoundment Safety Study Results Released
March 20, 2013
The Charleston Gazette reports that the pit and impoundment study required by the Horizontal Well Act of 2011, and conducted by West Virginia University, identified problems with how pits and impoundments are constructed and with how state officials inspect them. In a recently-released summary of the report, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) acknowledged that the WVU study identified various construction problems, such as improper compaction, inadequately secured liners, and standing water on berms. Overall, however, DEP concluded that “the current regulatory framework is sufficient to properly regulate the construction, operation, and maintenance of large capacity pits and impoundments.” In response to the study, DEP is training its inspectors in the proper design, construction and maintenance of large capacity pits and impoundments, and has developed a standardized inspection checklist.
The noise, light, and dust study required by the Horizontal Well Act remains delayed, and a third study regarding air pollution is not due until July 2013.