Doddridge County Man Blames Natural Gas Development for Flooding - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Doddridge County Man Blames Natural Gas Development for Flooding Issues

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Carl Townsend purchased property in Doddridge County in 1992. He planned on building a home and retiring there.

"When we bought it, there was a lot of clearing to be done, there was no water issues, no major water damage or anything," Townsend said.

But a few weeks back, Townsend and his fiancee were sitting in their living room when a giant tree fell into one of the bedrooms of their mobile home.

"There was no wind, no thunder. No lightning. It was a rain, not even a downpour, but it was raining," Townsend said.

He said water was never an issue, until natural gas development started up the hill and changed the way water flows.

"There was a well drilled on it. The hill started eroding about three years ago. It kept going back, going back, going back further. Until finally, the whole came hill came in," Townsend said.

Townsend blames his water issues on that slippage.

He believes water pulled the tree roots right from the ground.

"Just washed out and come down our mobile home that we are living in during present time," Townsend said.

Antero Resources said drilling from 2007 did cause some nearby slippage, but that was later fixed. Antero said Marcellus Shale development does not appear to be a factor in Townsend's water issues. Instead, the company attributes that damage to high rainfalls.

But another concern of Townsend's is a compressor station on his property that he said is just asking for trouble. There's no fence to keep intruders away from it, and a ladder is sitting right next to a nearby tank. Townsend fears that a child may climb up that ladder and fall into the tank that he said is not locked.

Shortly after speaking with Townsend, 12 News spoke with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. According to the Office of Oil and Gas, those conditions were "unacceptable security and environmental issues."

Just a few days after that statement, the DEP contacted 12 news and said the compressor station was removed and the surrounding property had been mowed.

The ladder is still nearby.

Antero Resources tells 12 news it is not aware of any violations or issues associated with Townsend's complaints. Antero confirmed that the compressor was removed, as it was no longer in use.