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West Virginia and Fracking

West Virginia sits above the Marcellus Shale, a gas deposit that the oil and gas industry has been heavily targeting in recent years. The gas industry has been quick to take advantage of the state’s dirty-energy-friendly policies, which has led to the creation of more than 3,200 new fracking wells and 16,000 acres of damaged land since 2005.

The rapid advent of fracking in the state has led to a slew of related problems from air and noise pollution in rural communities to contaminated water.

In 2013 and 2014, approximately 200 residents sued drilling companies for negligence and nuisance. In 2015, the lawsuits against one company, Antero and Hall, rolled into one mega-case before the state's Mass Litigation Panel.

The Fracked Fact Quiz

How many complaints of contaminated well water received between 2010–2014 were found to be linked to drilling?
< 10 complaints
around 50 complaints
> 100 complaints
Between 2010 and 2014, West Virginia received 122 complaints of contaminated well water linking the source of contamination to drilling near the residents’ homes.

Did You Know?

In 2014, the state approved fracking under the Ohio River, a source of drinking water for five million West Virginia residents. Though an eight-state agency monitors for benzene and toluene in the river water, they do not test for radioactive materials, which can also be a byproduct of fracking.

For More Information:

The Fraccidents Map:

High profile incidents ("fraccidents") related to the country's oil and gas drilling boom have occurred in and around West Virginia. Click on each Fraccident icon. fraccident to learn more:

What Else You Can Do

Support A Strong Rule Controlling Methane Pollution

For too long, the oil and gas industry has been allowed to leak millions of tons of methane and other toxic chemicals into the air—despite the availability of proven, low-cost solutions. The EPA has finally proposed the first-ever protections to curb methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.

Earthjustice has been fighting for decades to clean up the oil and gas industry. In 2012, our litigation led the EPA to create and enforce some air pollution limits on the industry. This is the next step in the fight. EPA is taking your comments until Dec. 4

Fracking Across The United States: