Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, today signed the Horizontal Well Act, relating to Marcellus Shale.
"This is a milestone piece of legislation and a significant achievement in our state's history," said Governor Tomblin. "It provides reasonable regulations to protect the environment and opens the door to new job opportunities for the citizens of our state. I again, extend my sincere appreciation to the members of the legislature for working long and hard to develop and pass this historic legislation for the future of West Virginia."
The Horizontal Well Act provides distinct permitting and regulatory rules governing the drilling of horizontal wells in West Virginia. The regulatory certainty created by passage of this legislation will allow the natural gas industry to continue to invest in West Virginia and create additional jobs for our citizens. The Act also provides the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection with sufficient funding and regulatory authority to protect the environment and our precious water resources. Going forward, this legislation requires operators drilling horizontal wells to provide additional advance notice to surface owners prior to commencing drilling activities. This historic legislation will position West Virginia for continued success and will require that the natural gas within our Marcellus Shale be developed in a responsible manner.
The governor will hold a ceremonial bill signing in the near future.