DEP seeking input on Oil and Gas Standards
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is seeking public input on its Well Site Safety Plan Standards and Casing and Cementing Standards that are referenced in the DEP’s Emergency Rule for horizontal drilling, filed Aug. 22 with the Secretary of State’s Office.
As part of the rule, all applications for well work permits involving well sites that will disturb three acres or more of surface must include a well site safety plan to spell out what steps will be taken to protect persons on site, as well as the general public and the environment. The plan is to be developed in accordance with standards developed by the DEP’s Office of Oil and Gas (OOG).
The Emergency Rule also includes operational rules intended to protect water quantity and quality and instructs operators to construct wells and conduct casing and cementing activities of all horizontal wells in accordance with OOG standards.
Public input on the OOG standards will be accepted until Sept. 30, 2011, and can be mailed to the Office of Oil and Gas, 601 57th St., S.E., Charleston, WV., 25304 or emailed to DEP.email@example.com. Copies of the OOG standards can be viewed by clicking on the Office of Oil and Gas section on the DEP homepage at: www.dep.wv.gov.
As directed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on July 12 in Executive Order No. 4-11, the DEP filed its Emergency Rule to increase regulatory oversight of horizontal well development in the state.