During a legislative briefing on Sunday, Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of WVU's Water Research Institute, cited lack of access to data for not being able to test horizontal drilling, Ward writes. Ziemkiewicz said the state Department of Environmental Protection tried on three occasions "to obtain Marcellus drilling mud from a Stone Energy site in August 2012," but "were told each time that 'drilling malfunctions' made it impossible for them to do so."
When a second sampling site, this one operated by Chesapeake Energy, was selected, "poor weather related to Superstorm Sandy stopped the drilling there prior to reaching to Marcellus, Ziemkiewicz said," Ward writes. "The company indicated it would notify WVDEP and WVU when drilling resumed. However, when WVDEP followed up with the company after Hurricane Sandy, the agency and WVU were notified that the horizontal leg was completed and no samples were available." By then, Ziemkiewicz said, there wasn't enough time to analyze samples to complete the report by the end of 2012. (Read more)