Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority Again Says No to Mountaineer Gas

Last month, the Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority (BCSWA) turned down a request by Mountaineer Gas to put a compressed natural gas (CNG) facility on the old landfill next to the Grapevine Road recycling facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia for a period of three years to five years.

Clint Hogbin
Chairman, Berkeley County
Solid Waste Authority
August 19, 2020

Solid Waste Authority chairman Clint Hogbin said – “I expected that to be the end of it.”

But it wasn’t.

Earlier this month, Jeff Gress of Mountaineer Gas went to meet with Hogbin.

Gress asked – how about putting a portable CNG facility on the property for 18 months? 

Last night, at the monthly meeting of the authority board, BCSWA again said no to Mountaineer Gas.

The vote was unanimous, with all five members of the board – Clint Hogbin, John Christensen, Mike Roberts, Mark Barney and Matthew Grove – voting no.

The board was concerned with gas truck traffic on Landfill Drive, that the authority has committed the landfill area as a potential solar farm, and that it could cause disruptions to access to the recycling center.

Hogbin said that “Landfill Drive is not a public road.” 

“We are responsible for the maintenance of it as we see fit,” Hogbin said. “Let’s say a tanker comes in February and there is four inches of snow on the ground and we are not open. We don’t plow the snow on a Sunday. Who is going to plow that road? The Department of Highways doesn’t plow that road.”

“Also, I did spend quite some time with our insurance folks. They had a lot of questions. They were primarily interested in safety issues – of having two or three four hundred recycling cars come in the Center, plus Apple Valley trucks. They will be interacting with five gas trucks. The only way they felt it was safe was to have staff – flagmen – hold back traffic from both directions while the truck is there. We would need to hire two people for that purpose.”

After the vote against the Mountaineer Gas facility, about eight citizens of Berkeley County spoke out against the Mountaineer Gas facility.

One was Tracy Cannon. Cannon said that she takes her recycling to the Grapevine Road recycling facility. 

“Gas trucks delivering compressed gas to this site would have been a traffic hazard and a safety hazard to everyone who recycles here,” Cannon told the board. “I can picture the traffic backing down Grapevine Road if they had to stop the traffic for a gas truck.” 

“I’m grateful for the decision that the Solid Waste Authority just made. It has stopped a big problem that could have happened – 18 wheelers, 24/7 going into this neighborhood would have been highly disruptive to the people who lived there on Landfill Drive.” 

“The CNG facility would also have posed an evacuation and explosion risk to people whose homes are located nearby. There is a trailer park that is right next to Landfill Drive. There is one home located only 80 feet from the proposed site.”

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