CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A bill to regulate the disposal of waste produced by gas-well drilling will likely be introduced by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in a special session.
Lawmakers who negotiated a version both sides could agree on were unable to get the measure passed before midnight Saturday, the deadline for the regular session.
The bill would allow only seven landfills in West Virginia that have already applied to do so to create a separate area on their properties where they could store the waste. Those landfills are located in the Northern Panhandle and Northwest portion of the state.
Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, said the bill is a huge environmental protection for the state. As it stands, the measure calls for drillings to be separated from other waste and monitored for radioactivity. "By September of this year, the waste cannot be mixed with other trash and must be put in a separate cell, and radioactivity monitors add a tremendous amount of protection over what is being done today," said Snyder. "We have learned a lot by looking at what was done in Pennsylvania and looking at the problems they were having."