WHEELING, W.Va. -- West Virginia has a new watchdog to monitor companies' compliance with environmental laws as they extract natural gas and other resources.U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced the creation of the West Virginia Natural Resource Watch Group on Monday in Wheeling. Task force members will include representatives from federal, state and local agencies.Ihlenfeld says the task force will identify suspected violations of environmental laws, coordinate prosecution efforts and provide training. It also will promote information sharing and consistent communication among law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
Monday's announcement following the sentencing of Chesapeake Appalachia for destroying a Wetzel County waterfall during the construction of a gas well pad. The company must pay $600,000 in fines and spend two years on supervised release.