Public Hearing on Marcellus Drilling in Wheeling Thursday
Hearings Also in Morgantown and Clarksburg Next Week
WV-CAG members and supporters: Please excuse in cross-postings of this notice. We wanted to be sure you received this important action alert from the WV Environmental Council. Additional information is available from the WV Surface Owners' Rights Organization, www.wvsoro.org. --JA
This is your chance to tell the Legislature in person what you would like to see in a bill regulating the drilling of Marcellus Shale gas wells in West Virginia!
House of Delegates members of the state Legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Marcellus Shale will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday July 21 in the auditorium at West Virginia Northern Community College's B&O Building, 1704 Market St., Wheeling.
Two additional public hearings will take place next week, one in Morgantown on July 25 and one in Clarksburg on July 27.
The second hearing is Monday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Morgantown at the West Virginia University College of Law.
The final hearing is Wednesday, July 27 in Clarksburg. The time and location for the Clarksburg meeting aren’t set yet, so we will update you on those details as soon as they are available. Wednesday, July 27 in Clarksburg ~ 7:30PM in the auditorium at Robert C. Byrd High School
These public hearings are scheduled to last only 90 minutes, and the amount of time allotted to individual speakers will be allocated according to how many citizens want to speak. So get there early and sign up!
Legislators are looking for specific suggestions as to what should be included in a regulatory bill.
"We are looking for constructive comments from the public about how we can address their concerns," said Delegate Tim Manchin, D-Marion, chairman for the House side of the joint committee. "Some members of the public may have issues or ideas that we have not considered."
The House members of the joint Select Committee are sponsoring these public hearings. Other House members of the committee are Delegates Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia; Tom Campbell, D-Greenbrier; Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie; and Bill Anderson, R-Wood.
The West Virginia Legislature created the “Select Committee” to attempt to do what the Legislature failed to do during the 2011 Regular Session – pass a bill regulating the drilling of Marcellus Shale natural gas wells. The Select Committee on Marcellus consists of ten members, five from the House of Delegates and five from the Senate, appointed by the Speaker of the House and the Acting Senate President, respectively.
The Select Committee’s goal is to develop a bill that both the House and the Senate can agree upon.
Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has said publicly that he would call a Special Session to deal with a Marcellus bill if the House and Senate could reach agreement on a bill.
Here are just a few of the essential elements WVEC believes are needed in a Marcellus regulatory bill. We are sure you can think of others.
1. Public notice and comment period prior to issuing drilling permits
2. Adequate permit fees and bonding amounts
3. Increased funding for more inspectors, and elimination of the industry-dominated Oil and Gas Examiners Board
4. An actual water withdrawal permit system to protect streams and rivers
5. Full protection of all water wells, with adequate setbacks and testing
6. Disclosure of frack fluid contents, and tracking of all wastewater disposal, including GPS tracking of wastewater transport trucks
7. Removal and proper disposal of drilling pits
8. Enhanced inspection of casing/cementing as critical for groundwater protection
9. Monitoring and regulation of air quality on drilling sites
10. Special protections for drilling on public lands and near high-quality streams
11. Protection of surface owners’ property and rights
Here is the list of Select Committee members, and their contact information, if you want to contact them individually:
Doug Facemire, D-Braxton, Co-Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
Capitol: 304 357 7845
Karen Facemeyer R-Jackson email@example.com
Capitol: 304 357 7855
Corey Palumbo D-Kanawha firstname.lastname@example.org
Capitol: 304 357 7880
Herb Snyder D-Jefferson email@example.com
Capitol: 304 357 7957
Orphy Klempa D-Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org
Capitol: 304 357 7918
Tim Manchin, D-Marion, Co-Chair email@example.com
Capitol: 304 340 3166
Barbara Fleischauer D-Monongalia firstname.lastname@example.org
Capitol: 304 340 3169
Tom Campbell, D-Greenbrier email@example.com
Capitol: 304 340 3280
Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie firstname.lastname@example.org
Capitol 304 340 3195
Bill Anderson, R-Wood email@example.com
Capitol 304 340 3168
You can also call legislator’s Capitol offices Toll Free, at 1-877-565-3447
WVEC Legislative Coordinator