WESTON, W.Va. — A Community Organizing Summit is underway this weekend at Jackson’s Mill in Lewis County.

A group of environmental organizations hope plan to offer training to residents to strengthen grassroots efforts against natural gas and oil projects in the region.

“We’re trying to provide a comprehensive platform and exposure to the issues while providing a unique oppportunity for volunteers, organizations, activists to come together, network and learn from one another,” said Angie Rosser, executive director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition.

The Summit is hosted by the Appalachian Gas Working Group.

There will be opportunities for in-depth learning on the following topics:

  • Speaking Across Bridges: How to talk with all sides
  • Coalition Building: Strengthening through partnerships
  • Starting and Building a Campaign: Mission, goal setting, strategies, and more.
  • Gas Related Health and Medical Effects: Impact on individuals and community, available resources, and health surveys.
  • Permitting and Enforcement: Community oversight, enforcing the law, and protecting your rights.
  • Environmental Monitoring: Water, Air, and Land.
  • Appalachian Storage Hub, Mid-stream Processes, and What This Means to Your Community: Impact on individuals and community by pipelines, storage facilities, cracker plants, and extraction.
  • Fighting Eminent Domain, Co-Tenancy, Forced Pooling, and Right-to Trespass: Your rights and how to protect your land.

Rosser said there’s something for everyone.

“There is a track of workshops that help people who are interested in informing and activating local communities and learning more about what oil and gas development means for their community,” she said.

Her coalition, and other groups at the summit, have been working to support healthy communities.

“We are focused on water quality and water impacts that recognize that it is the basis for a healthy environment and a healthy place to live,” Rosser said.

The training runs through Sunday.

For more information on this event, CLICK HERE.