Surface Owners say DEP needs at least 45, not just 23, oil and gas inspectors.

West Virginia
Surface Owners’ Rights Organization
Surface Owners say DEP needs at least 45, not just 23, oil and gas inspectors.
Feb 7, 2023 View this Alert Online


Senate Bill 448 and House Bill 3110 have passed out of the Energy Committees in their respective houses and are now in their Finance Committees.  The DEP and the industry and the Governor and maybe some Legislator agreed to fund a total of 23 inspectors in this bill.  No one talked to us surface owners whether we agreed to that number — and we are where the wells are leaking and stinking!  And that is only half the inspectors per well that Pennsylvania and Ohio have.

The good news is that those bills will take the DEP from 10 inspectors to 23.  The bad news is that the IOGCC research shows we should have 127 inspectors to inspect each of our 75,000 wells (not to mention 20,000 associated tanks) just once a year — and that does not include their other jobs of checking permit applications, visiting well pads during critical drilling stages, overseeing federal orphaned well plugging, responding to complaints etc.

WVSORO is asking for enough money from the Finance Committees to hire at least 45 inspectors.  We do not care if it comes from a share of severance taxes or a fee on industry like a $100 inspection fee on each well. 

Please go to this link that the West Virginia Rivers Coalition is sharing with us and let your legislators know we did not agree to 23 inspectors — that we need at least 45 inspectors — as many per well as other states!  Put that in your message!

For more details see our one-page of bullet points on this subject.

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