W.Va. Legislative Update
In continuing our commitment to best serve our clients, we have been closely monitoring legislative changes in West Virginia that may affect the shale gas industry in the state. This update covers a new rule affecting horizontal drilling and the results of a recent pit and impoundment study.Rule Governing Horizontal Well DevelopmentSenate Bill 245 provides for legislative approval of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's ("DEP") proposed Rule Governing Horizontal Well Development designated as 35 C.S.R. 8 ("Rule"). The Bill was considered by the Senate Energy, Industry and Mining ("EIM") Committee on March 13, 2013, during which the Committee amended the Rule to limit public disclosure of the hydraulic fracturing fluid formula(s). The precise detail of the formula would still be available to the DEP in response to an investigation initiated by the DEP or by request from health care providers for patient diagnosis and care.The EIM Committee reported the Bill, as amended. The Bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee where it was bundled with other DEP proposed legislative rules under Senate Bill 243 which was considered as a committee substitute bill and reported on March 22 to the full Senate. On March 27, the Senate passed SB 243 and reported it to the House of Delegates. The Bill was then referred to the House Judiciary Committee on March 28, 2013 for consideration and action. Read the full article on our website.