What you see is not always what you get. Over the past four years, many West Virginia landowners have added to their personal wealth by selling their oil and gas rights. The boom has also resulted in some increase in local employment and a boost in the local economy as a result of the influx of out-of-state workers.
But as the saying goes, nothing is free. One of the biggest concerns with drilling for gas is the potential for contamination of our water sources and destruction of our beautiful landscaped water tributaries. A report out of Oklahoma appearing in the Oklahoman and reported by the
Charleston Gazette, stated:
"Chesapeake Energy Corp. is facing possible criminal charges as the U.S. Department of Justice investigates whether natural gas producer violated the Clean Water Act in West Virginia."
According to the Oklahoma City newspaper, the criminal investigation was originally reported in Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s annual report to stockholders and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to Chesapeake's report to stockholders, Chesapeake had received and responded to a subpoena requesting documents issued by the Grand Jury of the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.
The Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act are two separate acts that form government's response to environmental issues relating to pollutants. The Clear Air Act, which was originally passed in 1970, attempted to monitor and control all air pollutants. This Act established regulations and standards designed to control pollutants in the air. The Clean Water Act, which was passed in 1972 and known as the Federal Water Pollution Amendment Act, was designed to make sure the nation's water was not polluted beyond certain criteria.
Pollutants, whether they be airborne or discharged into our water sources, can have a devastating effect, not only upon our environment, but also upon our health. In addition, the extraction process can affect the very landscape that has made West Virginia famous.
Without question, we need to safely harvest our resources in order to provide the energy necessary to support our life systems. The production of energy with fossil fuels can and should be accomplished; however, it needs to be done without sacrificing the health of our citizens and the beautiful environment in which we live.
Fitzsimmons Law Firm is dedicated to the health of all West Virginians, not only today, but for all future generations. That is why for over 30 years, our chemical and toxic exposure attorneys and
frack water pollution lawyers have fought tirelessly to hold accountable those corporations that have negligently and recklessly injured West Virginias as a result of environmental pollution.