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Residents Protest Gas Wells Near WV Water Treatment Plant

By: VICKI SMITH - Associated Press Writer
By: VICKI SMITH - Associated Press Writer

Residents angry over natural gas wells along the Monongahela River and near a drinking water treatment plant say state regulators aren't up to the job of properly overseeing the industry.

About 100 gathered Wednesday to protest the wells Charleston-based Northeast Natural Energy plans in the Morgantown Industrial Park, about 1,500 feet from a water intake.

They're angry they had no input before the permit was approved, and they question the Department of Environmental Protection's ability to prevent air and water contamination.

Neither Northeast nor the DEP immediately commented, but the protesters don't plan to let up. They'll meet Friday at Morgantown High School on how to continue the fight.

The wells are part of the rapidly growing exploration of the Marcellus shale field, a gas reserve underlying much of Appalachia.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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