More evidence: too few inspectors for onshore oil and gas operations

A year ago I blogged about concerns in states across the country regarding insufficient regulation, inspection, and enforcement by state regulators. That post mentioned that West Virginia had only 17 inspectors for over 55,000 oil and gas wells.

A recent article states that the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Oil and Gas now has only 12 inspectors to oversee about 59,000 wells throughout the state--an average of 4,917 wells for each inspector. Fortunately, there is legislation being considered in West Virginia to increase the number of inspectors and institute some additional protections for health, safety and the environment. Thanks for the tip to Tina Wooddell, a surface owner in West Virginia, who commented, "If they are so understaffed, why do they continue to issue permits for the drilling."

About the Authors

Amy Mall

Senior Policy Analyst, Land & Wildlife program

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