WVDEP Loosens Permits for Compressors re Noise & Bright Lights

The colorful new Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, is wasting no time in showing his support and appreciation to the natural gas industry. During Justice’s State of the State address last week, he ordered his new head of the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection, Austin Caperton, to stop saying “no” to businesses that show up with requests (including the drilling industry). During a rambling address, Justice had this to say: “Now, I underline — underline, underline, underline — nobody loves the outdoors as much as me. Nobody loves water as much as me. We’re not going to break the law. We’re got going to do anything to damage the environment to the very best of our abilities. Or our waters. But we are not going to just say no.” And we have perhaps the first instance of that philosophy in action. The previous Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin Administration had enacted certain restrictions in WV permits for compressor stations–establishing noise and light restrictions to protect nearby residents. At the request of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA), Caperton removed those restrictions…

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