By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
This summer, EQT Corp. will be applying herbicides in areas of Marion County.
Natalie Cox, corporate director of communications for EQT, said this natural gas drilling, production and midstream company has hired a contractor to conduct aerial spraying of rights-of-way in counties across West Virginia in the coming months.
This is the exact process that took place throughout the state last year, and the same contractor, Industrial Helicopters LLC, will do the work.
Trees and brush can become dangerously built up in some areas, making it difficult to access those spots if any natural gas pipeline issues arise and EQT crews needs to do routine maintenance, she said. For this reason, the company is again doing this ongoing vegetation maintenance program.
“Our program last year in West Virginia was very successful, which is one of the reasons we’re repeating the same process and program this year,” Cox said. “This is the safest and most efficient way to reach these areas.”
During the process, Industrial Helicopters stays away from streams, livestock, orchards and farms. But Cox explained that most people don’t live on the properties that would be treated.
“Really when aerial spraying is done, typically they’re in more remote areas that are difficult to reach by foot or on an ATV,” she said. “So other than a helicopter in the air, it’s unlikely that anyone will see anything close to their property where their home will be.”