CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Permitted landfills would be allowed to accept more cuttings and waste from natural gas drilling sites with a bill that’s now pending in the House Judiciary Committee.
A public hearing on HB 4411, which the House Energy Committee approved last week, was held Monday night in the state House of Delegates chamber at the State Capitol.
Delegate Kevin Craig (D-Cabell, 16) said officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection support the bill as an alternative to disposal at drilling sites. “They feel like the safest place is a landfill with a separate holding cell for these cuttings,” said Craig.
The bill he’s sponsoring would let the state Department of Environmental Protection authorize landfills to expand capacity by constructing and operating separate cells exclusively for the waste.
According to the DEP, existing regulations would require those landfills to be double-lined and equipped with leak detection systems, as well as groundwater monitoring wells.
“The cuttings won’t be mixed in with other items that go into the landfill so it’s really the most responsible way to handle this,” explained Craig.
As for the composition of the waste, “If you picture cutting a hole down, anywhere from 3,000 to 8,000 feet, into the ground, you’re hauling out rock, all the material that makes up the strata down to the shale plays that they get into,” he said.
It was not immediately clear when the House Judiciary Committee would address the bill.