Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has taken the the bill proposed by the Joint Select Committee on Marcellus and "tweaked" it (in other words, gutted it) and we need to let him know that this is unacceptable.
WV4MOM and other concerned citizens' groups are asking folks to come to the Capitol this Monday, December 12, for a day of CITIZEN LOBBYING (beginning at 11:30 AM) and a PUBLIC HEARING (4:30 PM).
This is the time to come forward and demand that our state government honor our right to clean water and air. Be assured, industry representatives will be out in full force on Monday, and we need a strong showing.
Please come out and fight for West Virginia!
Further details, including information on the governor's bill, are posted below in this announcement from Sierra Club WV.
SUNDAY: The House and Senate will convene Sunday at 5pm to begin the special session on Marcellus shale drilling regulation.
MONDAY: THIS IS WHEN WE NEED THE NUMBERS!!! YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO OR SAY ANYTHING – JUST SHOW UP
12 noon, we will hold a press conference in the Lower Rotunda
4:30pm House of Delegates will hold a public hearing in the House Chamber
THE GAS INDUSTRY IS HOLDING A RALLY AND THERE WILL BE PRO-DRILLING “CITIZENS” THERE IN MATCHING T-SHIRTS.
TUESDAY: The bill will be taken up by House Judiciary.
DETAILS AND DIRECTIONS:
A few things about our capitol for newcomers……….
Directions: The Capitol is in the East End of Charleston, off of I-64, take the Airport/Capitol/Greenbrier St. exit 99.
Parking: Rarely available on capitol grounds, fair luck on side streets, but there is a public parking lot next to nearby Laidley Field with a shuttle bus to the capitol building.
Ground level entrances to the capitol will lead you to our meeting area under the dome at the Information Desk. With few exceptions, all areas of the capitol building are freely open to the public.
We can guide you to offices of your officials and provide with talking points.
Dressing appropriately and being courteous and friendly goes a long way toward overcoming indifference and resistance from the lawmakers
Here are contact numbers for you if needed.
Chuck Wyrostok – Sierra Club 304 545 6325
Carol Warren – Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition OVEC 304 539 2240
Julie Archer – WV Surface Owners Right Organization SORO 304 610 9094
Denise Poole WV Environmental Council 304 617 7073
Following three years of deliberation and after months of labor by the Joint Select Committee, Governor Tomblin took a knife to their “agreed upon” bill, hacking out vital parts like an apprentice butcher. Here’s what we know so far:
Some of the things the governor’s bill would do:
Allow pits to be buried on site
Eliminate the provision that allowed for DEP to call a public hearing on a drilling permit
application. It looks like they also eliminated the public (publication) notice and
Reduce the distance from a water well for required testing 2,500' to 1,500 feet
Make the landowner go to court to get water replacement and there is a now definition of
"water purveyor" that may limit who gets notice.
Eliminate the legal notice to adjacent landowners
Reduce some of the buffer zones for rivers, streams, wetlands, etc.
Eliminate the "special conditions" amendment
Remove the amendment regulating air quality
Remove the traditional power of local government to regulate zoning and land
development of gas activities as well as other aspects, such as the time and the
place of operations to protect health, safety and welfare of the general public
through local ordinances and enactments.
SUNDAY: The House and Senate will initially convene a Special Session Sunday at 5:00 PM.
The bill will be read a first time and then referred to committees.
Environmental lobbyists will be there to monitor this. No voting on this can take place
until it’s in the committee rooms and then back out into the Senate and House.
MONDAY: 12 noon, we will hold a press conference in the Lower Rotunda (ground floor
under the dome). Citizen groups and landowners who know from personal
experience about their own small private hell will speak. If you have
experienced drilling travesties and can be there, please contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org and plan to arrive by 11:30am. Earlier arrivals
can meet us there to plan action for the day. Environmental lobbyists from
several organizations will be there to meet, greet and guide you.
MONDAY 4:30pm House of Delegates will hold a public hearing in the House Chamber.
Anyone can sign up to speak. Get there early to sign up. The gas industry will
rally their people at a nearby church between 2:30 & 3pm. They will show up
at the public hearing all wearing the same color t-shirts. Their message
will be to support the industry -- no particular position on the bill.
TUESDAY: The bill will be taken up by House Judiciary.
It will be crucial to have a large presence there to make our needs known to our Delegates and Senators and press them to pass strong rules in spite of the Governor’s betrayal of the people. If you only do one thing against this blatant industrialization of our hills, please make this the one. This is a pivotal point in this campaign and we need to throw everything we've got at preventing them from passing an empty bill and calling it "fixed". They are all accountable and we will call for a moratorium on further permits unless we get the elements into law that are nothing more than our human rights.
If you cannot be there, you can play a powerful role by calling or emailing your Delegate and Senators. Tell them you are a constituent in their district. They must thoroughly understand our determination to secure our rights for a safe supply of water and air and for preservation of our rights as landowners. How forcefully citizens make their legislators carry out their sworn constitutional duties will determine what kind of future we will have here in West Virginia.
The bill and a bill summary are posted online:
10 page summary of bill at:
Complete 99 page bill at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bulletin_Board/Proclamation/2011/Governor%27s_Marcellus_Shale_Bill.pdf