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Public Hearing Set Monday On Proposed Landfill Expansion

Reported: Feb. 17, 2014 1:47 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – A public hearing is set for Monday evening on legislation to allow permitted landfills to increase capacity so they can accept natural gas horizontal drilling cuttings and waste.

The public hearing on House Bill 4411 will begin at 5 p.m. in the House Chamber, located on the East side of the Capitol, according to a news release from the House.

The bill was endorsed by the House Energy Committee last week and referred the House Judiciary Committee. Energy Chairman Kevin Craig is a sponsor of the legislation.

"Clearly the most environmentally sound approach to dispose of drill cuttings is at properly designed solid waste facilities, where the cutting deposits can most effectively disposed of and managed," Craig said. "Otherwise these cuttings are going to be disposed at the drilling sites, causing hundreds of mini-landfills being created around the state.

"It is better for the environment that these cuttings be placed in a properly managed solid waste facility."

The measure was requested by the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection. To accept the waste, landfills must either increase their capacity or build separate cells dedicated to receiving drilling waste. Current state law does not specifically provide for that, the release said.

Under the House bill, the DEP secretary would be allowed to authorize landfills to construct and operate separate cells exclusively for drill cutting and associated drill waste, and in the meantime allow those landfills additional general capacity.

DEP Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman said regulations in place require these landfills to be double-lined and equipped with leak detection systems and groundwater monitoring wells. All leachate is collected, analyzed and treated before disposal. From an environmental standpoint, solid waste landfills are the best option available for the disposal of drill cuttings, Huffman said.



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