Source : Register Herald
MORGANTOWN (AP) — Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox wants natural gas drilling companies to anticipate and pay for the wear and tear they’re causing West Virginia’s country roads, many of which have “more or less evolved from a mere wagon trail.”
But at least one industry official complains the new rules — issued in an Aug. 4 memo and reaching gas companies this week — are vague, unreasonable and potentially too expensive for some to bear.
“These go well above and beyond what is necessary to safeguard roadways in the state, and we are assessing our response,” said Charlie Burd, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia.
Gas companies have no choice but to rely on rural roads as they rush to tap the rich Marcellus shale reserves. But residents are frustrated by both the volume of traffic and damage, Mattox wrote, and so are county road crews whose budgets are geared toward regular maintenance, not major repairs and construction.