The West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill establishing a $2,500 fee for producers that want to make modifications to existing horizontal natural gas well permits. 

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Senate Bill 404 passed both Republican-controlled chambers last week and is headed to Republican Gov. Jim Justice’s desk, who is expected to sign it. The bill was introduced in February and ultimately passed as the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) faces a $1 million budget shortfall. 

Producers that want to modify a previously issued permit would have to pay the fee. There is currently no fee for modification requests. A permit to drill a new well can cost upwards of $10,000, with more fees charged for expedited review and the permitting of additional wells on a pad. 

DEP said in...