CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s decision to throw out a West Virginia county’s ordinance that bans the disposal of natural gas production waste.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Fayette County Commission’s ordinance Wednesday. U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver had previously ruled in favor of the EQT Production Company, a natural gas firm that had challenged the ordinance.
In a 2-1 decision, the court ruled that the ordinance conflicted with provisions of West Virginia’s Oil and Gas Act and the state Department of Environmental Protection’s underground injection control programs.
Fayette County passed its ordinance after residents and local leaders became concerned about the operation of two controversial waste injection wells due to potential water contamination.