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

Ashton Marra
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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.

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