The House Finance Committee advanced House Bill 4613, relating to the reparation of roads damaged from oil and gas drilling.
House Bill 4163 allows the Division of Highways to use the money in the Gas Field Highway Repair and Horizontal Drilling Waste Study Fund in the district where the waste was generated or where the fee was received from oil and gas drilling companies. The Division of Highways has the records of the roads that are most impacted by the horizontal drilling and waste, and the money from the fund will be used to repair the roads.
This bill will bring more money to the counties that are most heavily impacted by the waste from drilling companies. This includes Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, and part of Monongalia counties.
The horizontal drilling waste assessment fee is the fee charged upon the disposal of drill cuttings and waste. The amount charged is $1 per ton of waste. This money goes into the Gas Field Highway Repair and Horizontal Drilling Waste Study Fund.
This fund was created in order to repair roads that have been damaged by oil and gas companies that create wells. In committee, it was established that in some circumstances, the companies are supposed to be responsible for repairing the roads after their jobs are finished. However, it has been difficult to enforce the bonds from the companies.
House Bill 4613 will be reported to the full House with the recommendation that it do pass.
The House Finance Committee also advanced Senate Bill 657. This bill allows for the designation of tourism development districts. Development districts can be created for tourism projects that cost $25 million that are in municipalities with less than 2000 residents. Projects are approved by the development office.
Senate Bill 657 also will be reported to the full House with the recommendation that it do pass.