Drilling water recycling plant proposed in W.Va.

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WHEELING, W.Va. – Wheeling planners are considering a company’s proposal to open a plant that would recycle wastewater from natural gas drilling.


The Wheeling Planning Commission is expected to make a decision on GreenHunter Water’s application at a meeting today.


Commissioners had declined to consider the project at their June and July meetings, saying they needed additional information about the project.


Information sought by the commission included documentation from West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and West Virginia Department of Transportation showing that GreenHunter’s project meets their guidelines. The commission also asked for documentation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and/or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission showing that the plant will not emit excessive amounts of radiation.


Commissioners also required the company to remove the labels “Phase 2” and barging from the project’s site plan. These labels refer to GreenHunter’s plan to eventually transport fracking waste by barge.


Several federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency are reviewing whether fracking waste can be shipped on inland waterways by barge.


Jonathan Hoopes, GreenHunter’s interim chief executive officer, said that company officials believe they have met the planning commission’s requirements.


“We have our ducks all in a row,” Hoopes told The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register.


The proposed plant, which could be located off W.Va. Route 2, would recycle wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.


“We have submitted everything that the city of Wheeling has requested. We are hopeful that we will receive a positive response from the Planning Commission Monday,” said John Jack, vice president of business development and operations for GreenHunter.


Tom Connelly, assistant director of the Wheeling Economic and Community Development Department, said the company appears to have met the commission’s requirements.


“We were also concerned about the lighting issues, but they seem to have addressed that,” Connelly said, noting that the planning commission will decide whether to approve the plant.


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