Associated Press Published

Speaker to Governor: Spill Law Should Exempt Small Oil, Gas


West Virginia House Speaker Tim Miley wants Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to limit regulation on small oil and gas operators in a law responding to a January chemical spill.

In a July 9 letter, Miley said small, non-Marcellus Shale wells are in “survival mode” and should be exempt from new aboveground tank inspections and registrations.

He says inspections could cost $2,000 per well annually.

Miley urged Tomblin to lessen the impact through administrative rulemaking. He suggested an executive order to delay the law’s implementation for small wells, and a special legislative session to change it.

Spokesman Chris Stadelman says Tomblin doesn’t think executive order should be used, but his environmental agency is considering options.

A January tank leak contaminated 300,000 people’s drinking water for days with a coal-cleaning chemical.