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.
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
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:
- Digging Under the Surface: West Virginia’s Fracking Boom (Appalachian Voices)
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 to learn more: