“Hydraulic Fracturing and Horizontal Gas Drilling Act” introduced into WV Senate and House

by admin on January 28, 2011

The staff of the Joint Judiciary Committee prepared this bill, which is one of the two major fracking bills to be considered this year in Charleston.  This one is Senate Bill SB-258 with 10 sponsors, equivalent to House Bill HB-2878 with 9 sponsors.  The other bill, known as the WV-DEP bill was prepared at the Department of Environmental Protection. SB-258 and HB-2878 have been referred to the Judiciary Committee, then they go to the Finance Committee.

The DEP bill clarifies that a separate permit must be obtained for each well drilled, no matter the type of well.  Significant permit application fees of $5,000 to $15,000 are included in all these bills, depending on the type of well, to help defray the costs of operating the Office of Oil and Gas.

Both bills require that an application to drill a horizontal well include a “water management plan” which must include a “water resources protection plan”. The anticipated chemical additives that may be used in the fracking water must be listed.

General environmental protection performance standards must be met in the drilling process. And, various measures are included for the protection of the surface land.  However, both bills will continue to allow the burial of drilling pit liners on site.

A comparison of these bills by the WV Environmental Council is available here.

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