Antero landfill to be subject to year of testing, per legal agreement

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An agreement between environmental groups and Antero will lead to one year of testing at a landfill being built by Antero Resources along the Ritchie-Doddridge county line.

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy entered into an agreement with Antero Treatment, LLC last week in an effort to settle a permit appeal involving the Antero landfill. The permit allows for discharge of stormwater runoff and associated pollutants into tributaries of the Hughes River, within five miles upstream of the City of Harrisville’s public water system intake.

The new agreement will include monthly laboratory analysis for radioactivity of material entering the landfill, monthly groundwater sampling for radioactivity, regular monitoring for bromide, and regular monitoring for total dissolved solids in surface water discharges.

According to the WV Rivers Coalition, bromide is known to cause problems for drinking water treatment.

The $275 million landfill project is part of a longer-term effort by Antero to move away from wastewater injection.

The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy released the following statement:

“Underground injection of massive amounts of wastewater from horizontal drilling and hydrofracking appears to have created unstable geological conditions in Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere. So, it’s no wonder industry and the state are looking for better ways to deal with the ever-increasing amounts of contaminants released during the fracking process,” said Cindy Rank of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy. “However, an urgent need to find safe, reliable treatment options is no excuse to permit untested methods without including essential monitoring requirements.”

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition also released a statement:

“We’re glad our appeal will result in knowing more about what is going on at this site,” said Angie Rosser, Executive Director of West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “This is one example of how the state is tasked with evaluating new sources of pollution brought about by the fracking boom. We need to find out sooner rather than later if we’re seeing harmful things, like radioactivity, affecting our water supplies.”