Its been a hot topic in Warwood since the announcement was made in March. The company, GreenHunter Water, LLC, purchased a barging facility on North 28th Street in Warwood. The 10.8 acre facility sold for $750,000.
GreenHunter has plans to convert the existing 11,000 square foot warehouse into a water recycling station with up to 19,000 barrels of water tank storage. According their website, GreenHunter provides total water management solutions to oil and gas operators, helping reduce the cost of handling production and flow back waters.
However, residents in Warwood have some major concerns about the new water treatment facility. They voiced those concerns Sunday afternoon during a walk and protest at Garden Park.
Councilwoman for the 1st Ward, Gloria Delbrugge, says this is the biggest issue she's had to deal with, and she doesn't like the GreenHunter went about it.
"Why would you not come to the city ahead of time, and say, 'This is what we have planned. This is what we're thinking about doing?'" she said.
Bill Gorby of Jefferson County Ohio adds, "These people have been sneaking in overnight and now this is going to go through. I've been fighting it for a while."
Tom Triveri is a concerned resident who says this is more than just a Warwood issue. He says anyone in the tri-state area who uses the Ohio River for drinking water should be concerned for their health.
"If it's on the river, its just like anything else," he says. "If there are spills, our intake is just a mile and two tenths down river of this new plant."
"Its not if it's going to leak, it's when it's going to leak," adds Grace Norton, another concerned resident. "There will be a leak sooner or later of poisonous liquids into the river."
Residents say they would like to see more jobs in the area but not at the risk of the health of the entire county. They also expressed concern over more truck traffic that they say would have to bring the water from other counties to be loaded on the barges.
7 News reached out GreenHunter Energy Inc. Sunday. John Jack, the Vice President of the Appalachian Region says the US Coast Guard has deemed barge transportation the safest way to move their product and the risk for spills is extremely small. He says other products that are transported by barges such as oil and gas pose a greater risk.
Jack says they are working with the Planning Department with the City of Wheeling to meet all of the city's code requirements, and have received nothing but a positive response from the City.
President and COO of GreenHunter Energy, Jonathan Hoopes, also addressed some of the concerns raised today.
"We're not going to be doing any disposal of the water in Wheeling," he says. "We'll be treating it for re-use and then sending it back to the field via truck, or we'll put it on barges and move it out of the Wheeling area when we have permission from the Coast Guard to do that."
The Coast Guard still has to determine how to classify the production and frack flowback water for transport on inland waterways. Hoopes says each barge has the potential to remove about 100 trucks from the roads.
He adds the project will bring 15 construction jobs, as well as 12 permanent operations jobs. Hoopes invites residents to learn more about GreenHunter on their website.
For mobile devices use this link: http://www.greenhunterenergy.com/