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Doddridge County Residents Worry About Air Quality Following Black Liquid Spill

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Center Point -

Residents of Broad Run Road in Doddridge County said their road used to be paved until an oil and gas company came in about three years ago and turned it to gravel.

"The drilling companies continued to put limestone overtop of the asphalt and when these large trucks go over it basically turns it into a fine dust," said Wayne Woods, a 16-year resident of Broad Run Road in Center Point.

"Dust comes in so high sometimes that I can't even see the road," said Bill Watson, a 12-year resident of Broad Run Road in Center Point.

A little more than a week ago, that dust became an even bigger concern, when a water truck appeared to be dumping a dark and pungent liquid on their road.

"The water that was coming out of the truck was black," Woods said.

"Brine or something in it. It was black. In front of my house, and it smelled terrible," Watson said.

"Pretty much as soon as it hit the road you could smell it," Woods said.

Residents said the air reeked of kerosene and other chemicals.

Residents said the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection and Ryan Environmental, hired by Jay Bee Oil & Gas, made it to the scene fairly promptly.

Woods and his neighbors said some soil was removed from the sides of the roads, but not all of the soil was removed. He adds that the road has not been treated since the spill.

"Whatever was put on the road is caught up in the dust. Whenever a car, or a water truck goes by it's going to lift up that dust and everyone on this road is going to be breathing it," Woods said.

He said the DEP and Ryan Environmental took samples, they haven't been able to get their hands on any test results.

Woods and his wife tested the water themselves soon after the black liquid was poured just feet from their home. It's not the first time Woods tested liquids coming from those trucks. But it's the first time his meter got the readings it did.

"The conductivity levels were 10 to 12 times what they usually are," Woods said.

Woods said high levels of conductivity indicate the presence of heavy metals, which can be toxic.

We contacted Jay Bee Oil & Gas they denied our request for comment.

A Ryan Environmental representative confirmed that they were hired by Jay Bee Oil & Gas. The Rep tells WBOY 12 News it cleaned up some of the worrisome areas in the ditch lines the weekend the spill occurred, even before testing the soil. That soil was collected for testing but those test results haven't been analyzed yet. As far as the road, the representative said it took several samples, and the test results are currently being analyzed.

The DEP tells WBOY 12 News that preliminary readings indicate no immediate health dangers, but that it is still waiting for additional test results before determining what may need to be done as far as cleanup.

WBOY 12 News asked that the DEP provide those test results when they become available.

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