This just in from the state Department of Environmental Protection:
Triad Engineering of St. Albans, W.Va., has been selected by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a one-year study on water supplies in the Prenter/Sand Lick Area of Boone County, West Virginia.
The study will analyze whether human activity, including coal mining and activities associated with it, may have negatively affected the quality of groundwater being used as a drinking water source by residents of the study area. The study area includes all residences along Hopkins Fork of Big Coal River and tributaries of Hopkins Fork from Seth to Prenter.
Triad employees will look for the presence of contaminants in residential water supplies, which may affect human health, by taking samples from those sources. The firm’s representatives also will take samples from nearby surface and groundwater locations that include any possible mining and industrial contamination sources, including surface mining, deep mining, coal preparation plants, refuse areas, impoundments, underground mine pools and underground injection sites.
Those performing the study will also interview residents about any issues or concerns they have about their water quality or quantity.
“This study is being conducted because of the continued concern people from the Prenter area have regarding the quality of their water,” said Randy Huffman, Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection. “The agency conducted a previous study in the area but this one is far more comprehensive.”
Staff from Triad will begin contacting residents about gaining access to their property and setting up interviews in the next few weeks.
Triad was one of four engineering firms that expressed interest in the project, and will complete it for $130,000.