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Protests About Gas Wells Planned Near WV River

Morgantown residents are organizing protests over plans to drill natural gas wells next to the Monongahela River and near the city's drinking water treatment plant.

Organizer Sandra Fallon says residents will speak at the Morgantown Utility Board and City Council meetings Tuesday, then rally at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Monongalia County Courthouse.

On Monday, the Dominion Post reported the utility board has expressed concerns to state regulators about Northeast Natural Energy's plan to drill in the Morgantown Industrial Park, within sight of the water plant.

Utility board General Manager Tim Ball wants the Department of Environmental Protection to impose more stringent safeguards than permits require because any discharges would enter the river 1,500 feet from the city's intake.

Northeast President Michael John says he's reviewing the letters and concerns.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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