The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has filed its proposed Horizontal Well Development Rule, 35 Code of State Rules, Series 8, with the West Virginia Secretary of State. Filing of the rule was mandated by the passage of House Bill 401 last December which created the Horizontal Well Act, West Virginia Code 22-6A-1, et seq.
The rule encompasses many of the same provisions contained in the Act, including water management planning, permitting and reclamation for horizontal wells and new bonding requirements. The proposed rule also includes many of the casing and cementing provisions contained in the WVDEP?s Office of Oil and Gas policy which was issued in the latter portion of 2011 as well as provisions related to centralized impoundments and pits, including the transfer of ownership of such facilities.
Other provisions of interest include a new right of entry to perform water sampling of sources located within 1,500 feet of a horizontal well and provisions reclamation of wells and pits/impoundments. The rule will now be subject to the rule-making review process, including a notice and comment period and consideration by the legislature prior to becoming final.
A copy of the rule may be obtained by clicking here.