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W.Va. legislative committee hears update on natural gas industry road practices

By Conor Griffith, The Exponent Telegram

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several different meetings on energy and infrastructure were planned during the September interim session of the state Legislature, and those two issues intersected in the case of the Joint Committee on Natural Gas Development Tuesday morning.

Antero Resources’ Director of Civil Engineering and Construction Shelton Barger appeared before lawmakers to give a presentation on some of the road construction practices his company has adopted since he joined in 2014. Barger, a native West Virginian and former employee of the Division of Environmental Protection and Division of Highways, explained that companies like Antero require a driveway entrance plan to connect their activities — in this context, well pads — to state roads.

He said Antero, for a time, followed a ‘maintain as we go’ model when it came to caring for these driveways, which meant concurrent road work while natural gas extraction and transport work went ahead.

“We never had a window to get in there and do maintenance,” Barger said, adding that this model not only made things inconvenient for other motorists, but actually drove up road costs for the company in the long run. …

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