Doddridge Co. judge: EQT cannot have its floodplain permit back - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Doddridge Co. judge: EQT cannot have its floodplain permit back

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A judge has rejected EQT Production Co.'s lawsuit against the Doddridge County Commission over a floodplain permit it rescinded.

Doddridge County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Sweeney ruled Dec. 17 that his court has no jurisdiction in the case.

EQT sued the commission in May over a floodplain permit it rescinded in its capacity as the floodplain appeals board. The company had done site work based on the permit and said it had spent $300,000.

But the county's floodplain ordinance denies surrounding landowners notification and due process and therefore is unconstitutional, the judge ruled on Dec. 14. The Dec. 17 ruling follows that decision by saying that, because the ordinance is unconstitutional, EQT's requests for summary judgment and for an injunction that would restore its permit are denied.

"Compliance with an unconstitutional ordinance is insufficient to grant plaintiff such right since the ordinance is constitutionally deficient," Sweeney wrote.

The County Commission has placed a moratorium on permits for drilling in the floodplain until a new ordinance has been adopted.

Floodplain Manager Dan Wellings said he has been working with lawyers to write the new ordinance and that they hope to have it completed by the end of January.