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Short Update on Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling
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by Beth Little | 2009

The WV DEP wrestles with new gas drilling regs while some states have issued a moritorium on shale gas drilling.

The WV DEP will be coming out shortly with updates to their rules for regulating oil and gas wells. Based on preliminary information, we will have a lot of comments. There will be a public hearing - sometime midsummer – and a show of support from citizens concerned about protecting our water would be very helpful.

The impacts of Marcellus drilling have a much greater magnitude than earlier drilling. The existing rules were developed for that earlier drilling and need to be updated, but industry is resisting more regulation. New York declared a moratorium on new permits until they conducted an environmental impact update. Other states that have experienced problems with increased drilling have issued new regulations that are mostly being contested in court.

The WV DEP is woefully understaffed for dealing with the kind of drilling frenzy that Pennsylvania is experiencing. There are some Marcellus wells in WV, but not nearly the extensive number that there are in PA, although that will probably change if/when gas prices go back up.

Anyone who is interested in keeping up with these developments and/or helping out, please just drop an email to me blittle@citynet.net with “oil and gas wells rule” in the subject and I will try to keep you informed.

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