Could Water Line Lead to Drilling In Pleasants County?

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While there's excitment drilling may finally be coming to Pleasants County, there's also concern.

About the economic impact...

"Drilling only goes on for so long," says resident Floyd Core, "and then you get the well maintenence areas, which, a lot of times, is not much for the labor force."

As well as safety issues...

"We have well water," says Cathy Fisher, Newport, Ohio resident. "I'm very concerned, especially with my health. What are you going to do?

The water line Antero Resources plans to build is to travel through an 80-mile area which includes northern Pleasants County to fracking sites in West Virginia and Ohio.

"My understanding is that they're taking measures to do things right," says Jay Powell, President, Pleasants County Commission, "not only from an EPA standpoint but from an OSHA standpoint."

So far, Pleasants County hasn't been part of the drilling rush its northern neighboring counties have seen. Powell says, however, that property owner records have been researched, and people have been there to see if the land can produce oil and gas.

"We have been told geologists have been looking at the ground," Powell says, "and they suspect there are some great minerals in the northern part of the county, if not all of Pleasants County."

Powell's own belief: if drilling there does happen, it could come as soon as next year.

The water line needs federal approval. Powell says the company has been talking to landowners in the area, about leasing private property for the project.

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