Pine Grove Residents Asked To Not Use City’s Water
Update 2 MarkWest Energy Partners Wetzel County Spill Response
February 21, 2016
Pine Grove, W.Va. In a meeting earlier today, MarkWest Energy Partners provided an operational response update to the Pine Grove council and mayor, Wetzel County officials, including first responders, as well representatives from the W.Va. DEP, W.Va. Bureau of Public Health and the U.S. EPA.
The meeting provided MarkWest with the opportunity to detail steps it’s taking as it continues to work around the clock to ensure that all necessary resources are being utilized to protect public health and the environment. The meeting also provided an opportunity for government officials to provide their input and suggestions on this collaborative response effort.
Initial sampling results suggests that while heat transfer oil did reach the inlet of the Pine Grove fresh water treatment facility, the oil was contained within the facility and did not enter the public drinking water.
Much more extensive sampling is being conducted and residents are invited to call [304-212-0172] if they want their residence’s water individually tested. Specifically, third-party experts are undertaking a broad range of public and private drinking water samples a service which is available to all Pine Grove residents by calling which will follow an established quality assurance plan, as required by U.S. EPA. MarkWest will communicate water sample results with residents as they become available.
Additionally, out of abundance of caution and at the request of the Pine Grove Mayor and town officials, residents can also utilize the phone number listed above [304-212-0172] to speak directly with third-party public health experts, should they have any questions or concerns.
MarkWest will continue to routinely share additional information and updates to the community through the response process.
02-21-2016, 9:58 a.m.
According to staff reports from the Wheeling Intelligencer, appproximately 10,000 gallons was spilled at the MarkWest Energy Mobley natural gas processing facility.
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelly J. Gillenwater stated that MarkWest officials reported the spill to the DEP at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.
According to Gillenwater, MarkWest Energy workers kept most of the material out of the stream.
As of 9:30 a.m., Pine Grove residents in need of water were advised to go to the Byrd Center. There are cases of water available there.
MarkWest released the following statement at 8:30 p.m.
Pine Grove, W.Va. Over the past 12 hours, MarkWest Energy Partners has deployed more than 75 employees and contractors to Pine Grove for spill response, distribution of bottled water at The Byrd Center and to provide assistance in the door-to-door notification of each of the 360 households in the community about the event. Pine Grove officials have also notified each resident via their reverse 9-1-1 system of a water conservation advisory, asking residents to only use water for sanitation purposes (i.e. flushing the toilet). Water sampling and testing is ongoing.
While an investigation is underway on the cause of the release, MarkWest’s singular focus has been on making sure our neighbors in Pine Grove have a source of clean water and the heat transfer oil is fully cleaned up from the North Fork of Fishing Creek. As we previously reported, Pine Grove has been able to switch over to an alternate source of clean water and MarkWest has provided bottled water, which is available at the Byrd Center (992 North Fork Road, Pine Grove, W.Va.)
MarkWest has deployed the following equipment and personnel to the area, with additional equipment and personnel on standby if needed:
10 booms have been deployed between the release location and the Pine Grove Water Works water intake. Additional boom will be deployed downstream as a precaution.
6 vacuum trucks.
75 + MarkWest personnel and contractors.
3 trucks of water thus far one tractor-trailer and two flat beds.
MarkWest would like to thank the local first responders and Mayor Justice for their support and cooperation and the residents of Pine Grove for working with us as we resolve this matter.
This is the final scheduled update for Saturday, February 20, 2016.
MarkWest Energy Partners has released the following statement regarding the oil spill at its Mobley facility:
At approximately 8:30 a.m., MarkWest Energy Partners’ personnel identified a release of heat transfer oil at our Mobley gas processing facility in Wetzel County, West Virginia. Federal and state regulatory agencies have been notified and MarkWest is coordinating its response efforts with the agencies and local officials.
While we are working to determine the volume of the release, we can confirm that heat transfer oil has reached the North Fork of Fishing Creek. MarkWest is working with environmental professionals and has deployed protective booms in the creek at a number of locations. The Pine Grove Water Works water intake located downstream from the release site has been closed by local officials and Pine Grove has switched over to an alternate source of water as a precaution. MarkWest has activated our spill response plan and will provide additional water to the Town of Pine Grove, if needed. Additionally, MarkWest has two trucks of bottled water arriving at The Byrd Center in Pine Grove at approximately 2:30 p.m.
Additional information will be provided to the public, through the news media, as it becomes available.
The Town of Pine Grove is now ordering residents to not use the city’s water.
According to Mayor Roy Justice, after he spoke to the Wetzel Chronicle this morning, a representative of MarkWest Energy observed that the oil spill has reached close to where the city gathers its supply. Justice said that it was recommended that Pine Grove shut off its water supply. Drinking water will be available at the town’s Byrd Center.
Residents of Pine Grove have been asked to conserve water due to a possible leakage of heating oil at the MarkWest Energy plant located in Mobley.
Mayor Roy Justice reported that the town has quit pumping the surface water into its system and is now pumping water from Public Service District One. However, Justice does not believe that the PSD One source would be able to supply all of the town’s water.
“We’re okay right now,” he noted, adding that any water in Pine Grove’s own water supply tanks have not been contaminated.
Justice stated that the manager of the MarkWest plant is working to get a box truck load of water to Pine Grove.
According to Justice, approximately 1,200 gallons of oil could have leaked into the creek by the Mobley plant.
The Wetzel Chronicle will update this story as additional information becomes available.