Testimony of Gary Zuckett at People’s Public Hearing on HB 2598 – 2/26/21

People’s Public Hearing: HB 2598

Testimony of Gary Zuckett, WV Citizen Action – 2/26/21

 

After several public interest groups were denied their requests for the usual public hearing procedure in the House regarding House Bill 2598, they’ve banded together to hold their own Public Hearing so the voice of citizens can be heard on critical issues that affect them, their families and communities.

The Above Ground Storage Tank (AGST) Act is a good law. It’s not broken and doesn’t need fixed – HB 2598 will break it. Taking away protections against ‘Fracking Fluids” getting into our tap water intakes. What are these Fracking Fluids? The Chemical and Engineering News of the American Chemical Society says this in an article entitled ‘Figuring our Fracking Wastewater’:

https://cen.acs.org/articles/93/i11/Figuring-Fracking-Wastewater.html

“The fracking wastewater is a complex mixture of organics, metals, and radioactive materials. Some of these substances get put into the water as fracking fluid additives, some are formed during degradation or transformation reactions, and some come from the underground geologic formations.”

Is not just salty water as many would like to suggest and its containers should be monitored and tested according to the existing law when they are too close to public water intakes. This is not brine you want to marinate your turkey in.

What is the real situation here? Why do we have this bill before us?

This bill is taking us backwards. It seeks to “ease the burden” on the O&G industry. An Industry that has extracted millions and billions of dollars of wealth from WV. What about the ‘burden’ of nine counties not having water to drink? Of only approved use of the water that’s coming out of your tap is to flush the toilet? That’ what the hundreds of thousands folks went through, many of them couldn’t use their water for weeks. Some of them got sick and ended up in the hospital. What kind of ‘burden’ is that? That is why the AGST bill was passed to begin with.

Since then every year, the pollution lobby and their reps have come to the capitol with their axes to chip away at the protections that have protected our public drinking water inputs since the AGST bill was passed.

I’m here to ask every lawmaker from every district in this state to stand with their constituents, to keep protections already in code, and just say no to the pollution lobby. Keeping tanks inspected and containments intact is not too much to ask of an industry that extracts so much mineral wealth. They can afford to properly take care of their tanks to keep our water safe to drink.

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