WV SORO Update Archive

July 8, 2009

Reminder: Public Hearing and Comments Due Tuesday, July 14, 2009 on Oil & Gas Rules

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proposing significant changes to 35-CSR-4, the agency rule that regulates “Oil and Gas Wells and Other Wells.”  These proposed rule changes will be sent to the Legislature for its consideration in 2010.

A public hearing on the proposed changes will be held on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 6:30PM in the Coopers Rock Training Room (1204) at DEP Headquarters in Charleston,WV (601 57th Street, SE, Charleston, WV).  Written comments are also being accepted and must be received no later than 6:30PM on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

This is the public’s first – and only – opportunity to comment on these oil and gas rules before they are sent to the Legislature.  We encourage everyone to look at the proposed rules and file comments or attend the public hearing, as you feel necessary. Click here for more information and talking points. 

Take Action ~ Support the "FRAC ACT"

In our Summer newsletter, we emphasized the importance of contacting members of Congress and urging them to sponsor and support legislation to protect our land and water resources. We also mentioned the the Fracing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (FRAC ACT) which  is aimed at protecting drinking water from oil and gas development -- including ending hydraulic fracturing's exemption to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  In addition to closing the loophole in the SDWA that exempts hydraulic fracturing, the FRAC ACT would also require public disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

Congress has returned from their July 4th recess and we have learned from Damascus Citizens for Sustainability that there may be votes on the FRAC ACT in both houses during the next week.  Please call or email in support of the FRAC-ACT (HR2766 and S1215). To e-mail your Representative and Senators today use these quick links provided by Damascus Citizens:

For a quick link to your Representative, use this link:

For a quick link to your Senators, use this link:

Senator Robert C. Byrd
Phone: (202) 224-3954
Charleston Office Phone: (304) 342-5855

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV
Phone: (202) 224-6472
Charleston Office Phone: (304) 347-5372

Rep. Alan Mollohan (District 1)
Phone: (202) 225-4172
Morgantown Office Phone: (304) 292-3019

Rep. Shelley Moore-Capito (District 2)
Phone: (202) 225-2711
Charleston Office Phone: (304) 925-5964

Rep. Nick Rahall (District 3)
Phone: (202) 225-3452
Beckley Office Phone: (304) 252-5000

The Oil & Gas Accountability Project has more information on the inadequate regulation of hydraulic fracturing and efforts to close what has become know as the "Halliburton loophole."

Other Upcoming Events of Interest

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
During the upcoming legislative interim meetings, James Martin, Chief of the DEP Office of Oil & Gas, will give a presentation on the proposed rule changes to the Joint Commission on Water Resources.  The meeting is from 1PM to 2PM in in the House Government Organization Committee meeting room (215-E) at the State Capitol in Charleston. 

Thursday, July 23, 2009
The Penn State Cooperative Extension is sponsoring a free online seminar at 1PM on the existing and newly developing water quantity and quality issues related to the development of the Marcellus Shale formation. Charles Abdalla, a water-policy expert  and professor of agricultural and environmental economics at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is the featured speaker. Information about how to register for the "webinar" is available at http://naturalgas.extension.psu.edu/Events.htm. Online participants will have the opportunity to ask the speaker questions during the webinar.

West Virginia Surface Owners' Rights Organization
1500 Dixie Street, Charleston, West Virginia 25311