In summer 2020, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Office of Oil and Gas cut its staff from 40 to 25 positions due to recurring budget shortfalls.
As a result, there is now only one inspector per every 5000 gas wells. Currently, the Office is funded solely through one-time fees on new permit applications. This funding structure is not only inconsistent with other WVDEP Offices, it is also insufficient for sustaining the office’s responsibility for monitoring and regulating all actions related to the exploration, drilling, storage and production of oil and natural gas.
Watch a live press conference facilitated by Angie Rosser, Executive Director of West Virginia Rivers Coalition, featuring statements from elected officials, as well as representatives of private property owners and environmental advocates in West Virginia:
• Dave McMahon, J.D., Co-Founder, W.Va. Surface Owners’ Rights
• Dustin White, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
• Delegate Evan Hansen (D – Monongalia, 51)
• State Senator William J. Ihlenfeld II (D – Ohio, 01)