With state lawmakers planning to sit down this week to examine possible legislation related to Marcellus drilling regulations and fees, others are calling for an outright moratorium or legal actions in the courts. The Legislature's special Marcellus study group is scheduled to begin holding deliberations July 12 and then again on July 13 at the Capitol. It was reported today that the group's Senate Co-Chair, Senator Doug Facemire, wants to use the Senate's bill (SB 424) as a framework for meetings. The newspaper article, however, said the new version will be a scaled-back bill than the one that passed the state Senate during the 2011 regular session. Facemire said he wants this verison still to address issues such as notification to landowners, illegal dumping of fracking water and damage to state roads.
It also was reported today that the West Virginia Surface Owners' Rights Organization plans to "broaden its tactics" and seek desired remedies in the court system, rather than the Legislature. The group's attorney, David McMahon, already has filed one lawsuit in Marion County seeking to stop XTO from locating a drilling pad on his surface property.
In another article, other legislators are calling for added requirements on the state's natural gas industry, such as mandatory reporting of fracking fluids and new requirements on the reporting of natural gas production...on a property-by-property basis.
Surface owners plan to turn to courts over Marcellus drilling
The Charleston Gazette, July 9, 2011
Monitoring info sought by legislators
The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register, July 9, 2011
Property, mineral rights in conflict
Charleston Daily Mail, July 5, 2011