WHEELING - When D.J. Pellen sent two tractor trailers containing an estimated 2,000 cases of bottled water to Charleston last week, he considered the move common sense.
"It's my state," Pellen said. "I'm a die-hard Mountaineer."
Pellen, owner of MAKA Energy Solutions in Wheeling, wanted to do what he could to alleviate some of the stress caused by the chemical spill that left 300,000 people in southern West Virginia without safe water for some time. The spill occurred when a foaming agent used in the coal preparation process leaked from a chemical plant tank into the Elk River.
Pellen reached out to at least 20 people and organizations. After speaking with West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler and getting in contact with Sarah Smith, an assistant to Tommy Dingess, director of administration for the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Pellen coordinated his efforts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Working with Mike Coffield from Coffield Properties and Matt Farmer from AllField Services, MAKA Energy Solutions has four more tractor trailers with water ready to send to Charleston.
"We have the ability here," Pellen said. "It's all for the good of the public."
MAKA Energy Solutions is capable of pumping 1 million gallons of potable water a day on site. Pellen's work at the company includes brokering fresh water sales and providing equipment sales and services to oil and gas companies. As an energy industry consultant, he connects clients with the proper contacts for their needs.
Pellen is excited by the potential of the oil and gas industry for the local area, specifically the economic impact.
"The biggest companies in the world are linked directly to our valley," Pellen said. "The idea that that kind of industry is here is absolutely huge. Wheeling is right in it."
Because MAKA Energy Solutions is a start-up company that only recently become established, Pellen admitted the financial aspect of sending water to Charleston was nerve-wracking. However, he said the commitment to helping is important and does make a difference.
"It will work out," Pellen said. "I have faith."