Natural Gas Companies Challenge “Zones of Critical Concern” for Drinking Water

You may recall that the Aboveground Storage Tank Act that was passed in response to the Freedom Industries spill subjects to “detailed scrutiny” those aboveground tanks (ASTs) located within “zones of critical concern (ZCCs)” relative to the intake of a public drinking water supply. In a nutshell, the ZCC “is based on a five-hour time-of-travel of water in the streams to the intake,” and the DEP is responsible for determining these zones.

In an appeal filed with the WV Environmental Quality Board (EQB), some natural gas companies have challenged the DEP’s designated ZCCs. Two of our partner organizations, WV Citizen Action Group and the WV Rivers Coalition, filed a motion to intervene in the appeal, on which the EQB began proceedings Thursday, January 14.

At press time (Friday afternoon), the EQB’s proceedings had just ended; now we wait for a decision.

For more details you can read a press release here, and Ken Ward’s account of Thursday’s proceedings here.


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  1. Money, money, money. It obviously doesn’t have anything to do with right and wrong, it has to do with an attempt to improrve the bottom line.

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