The West Virginia Senate has passed two bills to benefit the oil and gas industry. SB 508, which would clarify the language that defines a private nuisance, passed 20-12 and has been sent to the state House judiciary committee (see Shale Daily, Feb. 18). It would make it more difficult for residents to file lawsuits against producers and other businesses by requiring them to prove physical property damage or a bodily injury claim. SB 565, which would allow drillers to construct access roads and well pads before submitting plans and receiving a permit, passed the chamber 31-1 and has been sent to the House energy committee. Operators could start work without submitting engineering plans or receiving a permit from the state, but they would still be required to do so before drilling any wells. The legislature's 60-day 2016 legislative session adjourns March 12.
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