Fayette County is officially closed for business when it comes to the disposal of oil and gas production waste.
The Fayette County Commission voted Tuesday to ban the storage, disposal or use of oil and gas waste within the county limits, according to a news release from Headwaters Defense, a local grassroots organization opposed to the waste disposal.
The county is not home to much oil and gas activity — with only 584 traditional gas wells producing last year. But local residents became upset with leaks from local underground injection wells, operated by Danny Webb Construction in Lochgelly, that residents say contaminated Wolf Creek.
The effort to pass the ban on drilling waste in the county was pushed by local residents and Headwaters Defense, which helped obtain around 5,000 signatures on a petition.
Part of the reasoning for the ban was a perceived lack of enforcement over Danny Webb Construction by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, which regulates underground injection wells.
“The County Commission has stepped in where the state of West Virginia and the DEP have failed to adequately protect our land, water, health and safety,” said Kristy Gilkey, a local resident and Headwaters Defense member.