Well pad operator accuses Ohio County officials of violating state law

By Philip Gonzales | Mar 27, 2017

WHEELING — A Texas well pad operator is suing Ohio County officials, alleging violation of state law.

SWN Production Co. LLC of Spring, Texas, filed a complaint Jan. 24 in Ohio Circuit Court against the County Commission of Ohio County and the Ohio County Fire Board, alleging violation of the West Virginia Code.

According to the complaint, on June 23, 2015, the defendants passed a fire fee ordinance wherein well pad owners will be charged $5,000 per pad. Pursuant to the ordinance, SWN Production has been charged $145,000 for its 29 existing well pads and will be assessed the same flat fee in the future. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to obtain the signature of 10 percent of qualified voters prior to enacting the fire fee ordinance.

SWN Productions seeks trial by jury, an order declaring that the Ohio County Fire Fee Ordinance violates West Virginia law and is, therefore, invalid and that invoices received by the plaintiff for fire services fees on its well pad be abated. It is represented by attorneys Sharon L. Porter and Christina S. Terek of Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC in Wheeling.

Ohio Circuit Court Case number 17-c-27

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