After spending only four days in a special session, both chambers of the West Virginia State Legislature passed Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's Marcellus shale bill on December 14, 2011. Some highlights of the bill include; increasing the permit fee to $10,000 for a new well and $5,000 for additional wells drilled on the same pad, requiring producers to reach agreements with the West Virginia Department of Highways before drilling, citizens concerned with drilling in their areas now have 30 days to comment on issued permits, producers must submit water withdrawal plans before receiving permits, and surface owners are granted further protections. The law only applies to wells that are drilled after its passage.
Click here to read the final version of the bill.
Written by Andy Schwabenbauer, Research Fellow
December 16, 2011