Here are a couple of fracking stories found in some of the state's newspapers.
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) gets rid of nuisance protection
Ken Ward Jr. reports in this morning's Charleston Gazette-Mail:
Less than two weeks after taking office, Gov. Jim Justice’s administration quietly deleted permit language intended to protect residents in West Virginia’s natural gas regions from excessive noise and bright lights from compressor stations and other facilities that are springing up across those communities. . . .
Environmental groups and citizen organizations were shocked when they heard from a reporter about the DEP’s action, saying agency officials had not consulted them or even informed them of the move despite citizens having played a central role in 2015 in convincing then-DEP Secretary Randy Huffman the additional protections were needed for residents who live in the midst of the Marcellus Shale boom.
Ward's coverage explains in depth how this came to be.
Legislature revives fracking bills from last year
David Beard in the Morgantown Dominion-Post reports on the two bills:
CHARLESTON — A couple fracking-related bills that worried many landowners last year have been reintroduced for the 2017 session, and landowners are worrying again.
The West Virginia Surface Owners’ Rights Organization (SORO) calls them “zombie bills” because they died and have emerged from the grave.
SB 244, introduced Feb. 10, aims to “encourage and facilitate the efficient and economic development of oil and gas resources” in two ways.
One, the co-tenancy provision would allow a simple majority of mineral interest owners to authorize pooling and leasing of a tract.
Two, it would allow for lease integration without providing a mineral owner a chance to renegotiate and old and outdated lease.
SB 245, also introduced Feb. 10, aims to allow gas companies to enter private land without owner consent for pipeline surveys.