The West Virginia Legislature sent a bill Wednesday to the desk of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin that would open up the state’s portion of the massive Marcellus shale deposit to drilling. The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously and the House of Delegates 92-5, will require buffer zones around wells, advance notices to property owners and the public, and will increase permit fees.
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“Although I disagree with the way this legislation was handled through a rushed special session, much of what is in the bill is fair and reasonable. This framework provides a strong set of working rules and regulatory certainty for Marcellus operators, and its impact fee was narrowly tailored and designed to address actual impacts. While other states should not follow West Virginia’s model when it comes to process, they appear to have done a decent job on the policy.”
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