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West Virginia and Fracking

Frack Target: Marcellus Shale

Water Resources at Stake: Monongahela River, Ohio River, Elk River, Little Kanawha River, Sutton Lake, Summersville Lake, Tygart Lake, Bluestone Lake

West Virginians have seen their fair share of disastrous energy extraction techniques – like mountaintop removal coal mining - but as the fracking boom makes its way to their home state, residents face a whole new set of problems. The gas industry is taking advantage of lax regulations in West Virginia to pump the streams excessively, sometimes until they are dry. And fracking-related activity was the suspected culprit in a toxic algae bloom that wiped out thousands of fish, mussels and other aquatic life in 35 miles of Dunkard creek – one of the most biologically diverse creeks in the state.

Below is a map of some of the high profile incidents ("fraccidents") related to the country's gas drilling boom that have already occurred in and around West Virginia. Click on any fraccident to learn more.

View Fraccidents Map in a larger map

Groups Fighting Fracking in West Virginia

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Close Fracking Pollution Loopholes:

Tell Congress: It's time for them to stand up to industry and stand up for public health.

Thanks to exemptions from our bedrock environmental laws, oil and gas drilling operations don't have to follow the same rules as everyone else. Three bills introduced in Congress would change this: The FRESHER, BREATHE and FRAC Acts.

These bills would eliminate exemptions and loopholes in the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and Safe Drinking Water Act being exploited by the oil and gas industry. Please ask your member of Congress to support these bills! Take Action.

View other states affected by fracking:

Related Features

Fact Sheet: On Fracking

The United States is experiencing an industrial gas rush. Industrial gas development in the Rocky Mountains region, in the Northeast’s Marcellus Shale deposit, and in other parts of the country is skyrocketing. Learn about industrial gas drilling, "fracking," and Earthjustice's work to protect communities across the country.

Finding Their Way

Jen Slotterback was hiking in her favorite park when she found signs of surveying for gas drilling, or fracking.

Fighting Fracking Across the U.S.

In communities across the country, people are standing up to the fracking industry, passing bans and limits on fracking and defending their right to do so in court. And when the oil and gas industry tries to bully communities into backing down, communities are fighting back—and winning. Learn about some of these fights.