WHEELING - Gloria Delbrugge and Tom Triveri believe the natural gas frack water recycling plant on its way to Warwood is bad news, so they plan to attend a public rally to protest the facility.
"I am not a tree hugger, but I don't want this here," said Wheeling resident Triveri during the Thursday Warwood Neighborhood Watch meeting. "You know there are going to be accidents. If this stuff gets in your drinking water, it is going to be a nightmare."
Delbrugge lives in and represents Warwood as a member of Wheeling City Council. She emphasized her position that the planned GreenHunter Water facility should not be built at the former Seidler's Oil Service site on North 28th Street, directly adjacent to the Wheeling Heritage Trail. The facility, which GreenHunter hopes to have open by September, would be just upstream from the Wheeling Water Plant.
"I don't like it and I don't want it," Delbrugge said.
Delbrugge and Triveri said they will attend the rally against the plant, which is set for 2 p.m. April 21 at Warwood Garden Park.
"This is not just about Warwood. Anyone who drinks water from the (Ohio) River is at risk," Triveri added. "I am not all against fracking, but I am against this."
GreenHunter officials are familiar with opposition, as 10 people were arrested in February for protesting at the company's natural gas and oil frack water storage site in New Matamoras, Ohio. The Wheeling residents are hoping they can prevent the Warwood facility from coming to fruition.
Tom Connelly, assistant director of the Wheeling Community and Economic Development Department, directed questions regarding the GreenHunter plant to City Manager Robert Herron who was unavailable for comment. GreenHunter officials informally met with city leaders a few weeks ago.
"From what I understand, they have still not filed for any permits from the city, or sent us anything official," Delbrugge said.
Jonathan D. Hoopes, president and chief operating officer for GreenHunter, said his company paid $750,000 for the property with plans to complete $1.7 million worth of new construction. He said the company wants to use the existing docks at the site that extend out into the river to load barges with water used in the fracking process. At this time, the Coast Guard is evaluating whether to allow barges to carry frack water on rivers such as the Ohio.