Member's Press Release

Release Date: 10/21/2014
Contact: Senator Donald Cookman at (304) 357-7980

Senator Cookman

Cookman Praises Passage of Provision That Protects State's Water From Radiation

CHARLESTON, W.V. – Senator Donald Cookman (D-Hampshire) is praising the work of the Legislative Rule-Making Committee for passing a provision that will protect the state’s water in karst regions.

The provision is the result of Marcellus Shale drilling activity that creates radioactive fracking waste. Senator Cookman found a loophole in House Bill 107 shortly after its passage and immediately began working on a provision to correct it with Majority Leader John Unger.

“It was imperative that the Legislative Rule-Making Committee pass the provision in order to further protect West Virginia’s water,” says Cookman. “I vow to continue working with my fellow lawmakers and the citizens of this great state to make sure West Virginia’s waters remain pure and free of pollution.”

HB 107 allows for the disposal of drill cuttings and associated drilling waste generated from well sites in commercial solid waste facilities above the monthly tonnage limits. The provision strengthens the protection of drinking water in counties with karst topography by prohibiting any amount of radioactive drill cuttings in landfills.

Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks and is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes, dolines, and caves. It is porous and exceptionally vulnerable to water contamination and pollution.

Senator Cookman extends his thanks and gratitude to Clint Hogbin, Chairman of the Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority, for his time and effort in helping with the provision. It will be submitted to the full Legislature during the 2015 session.

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