Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Legislative Interim Committee Recommends Water Usage Bill, Including Fracking Provision

The Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources this week adopted a proposed interim recommendation for legislative action (click to read proposed bill) in the 2014 regular legislative session that would:  modify the definition of a "large quantity user" to become a user of 300,000 gallons of water in a 30-day period; would remove the current 10% variance provision for reporting of water usage by requiring an actual monthly report; would require any agency that contributes funding to the statewide water gauge system to report to USGS and the Legislature if that agency can no longer contribute funds; would require the depth of groundwater reached to be reported by producers to DEP in addition to the current requirement for reporting longitude and latitudes for well locations and; would require annual water usage reports to be made to DEP. In addition, an amendment to the proposed interim bill was advanced by Delegate Bill Hamilton that would require any usage of water found during the course of Marcellus production in the fracking of the well where such water was discovered to also be reported.

The commission is co-chaired by Senate Majority Leader John Unger and Delegate Mike Manypenny.

The 2014 session of the West Virginia Legislature began today.