House Finance today passed both the Health Reform Bills (SB 407 & 408)
and the Marcellus Bill (SB 424) to better regulate Oil & Gas drilling!
The Health Reform Bills put in WV Code (407) the reforms that kicked in
last fall and creates a WV Insurance Exchange (408) and as needed by
the Affordable Care Act. They will be on second reading (amendment
stage) on the House floor tomorrow. The message to your Delegates is “no
weakening amendments and PASS THE BILLS!”
Last Chance to Support Strong Marcellus Shale Gas Regulation – SB 424
- Please call or email your representatives in the House of Delegates
ASAP, and ask them to “VOTE YES” on the House version of SB 424. This
is our last chance to pass a bill this session to regulate drilling in
the Marcellus Shale and provide additional notice, etc. to surface
owners' about all gas well drilling.
House Judiciary Committee amended and strengthened SB 424 and
the House Finance Committee signed off on those changes today. (More
It is important that your Delegates hear from you in support of a strong
Please call or e-mail your Delegates and ask them to:
Support the House Judiciary Committee amendments,
Oppose any amendments to weaken the bill, and
Pass a strong bill that protects West Virginia’s surface owners,
water resources, environment and natural resources, mineral owners
and work force.
If you e-mail, put "Please VOTE YES 424" in the subject line. You can
find your Delegate(s) contact information
If the House passes the bill, the House and Senate will have to work out
an agreement between the two versions of the bill by Saturday, when the
legislative session ends. We are hopeful that the House will act on this
much needed legislation.
Once you've contacted your Delegate(s), please contact your Senators
and urge them to support the House version of SB 424, because it does a
better job of protecting West Virginia’s surface owners, water
resources, environment and natural resources, mineral owners and work
You can find your Senators contact information
This may be the last time you hear from us before the legislative
session ends. We hope to have good news the next time we're in touch.
In the meantime, please help us keep the pressure on and thanks for all
Good Provisions Amended into SB 424 by the House Judiciary Committee
Requiring all new oil and gas leases to have language advising the
signer to consult with an attorney.
A pre-survey notice to surface owners that:
Applies to ALL new wells, not just to horizontal wells.
Is 30 days in advance of the entry to survey.
Requires the driller to offer to meet with the surface owner.
Requiring horizontal wells to be 1000 feet from occupied dwellings
and water wells unless the owner consents, or unless a variance
(with conditions) is granted.
Requiring horizontal wells to be 100 feet from a watercourse, pond,
Requiring horizontal wells to be more than 1000 feet upstream of a
surface public water supply, and more than 1000 feet from
groundwater public water supply.
Allowing the state deny or condition a horizontal well permit based
on impact to parks, rare habitats, historical sites, bodies of
Requiring horizontal wells to be inspected wells during each phase
of cementing, completing and altering before the company can
Extending water well testing near horizontal wells from 1000 to
5,500 feet if requested by the water well owner.