HB 458, drafted by the oil and gas industry, seeks to sweep away the ability of counties to adopt any ordinance controlling any aspect of the oil and gas industry.
Current law grants counties broad powers to protect public health, safety and the environment, subject to a requirement that the county not conflict where the state has acted by adopting a law.
The industry admits there is no current local ordinance that regulates the oil or gas industry. The bill is an effort to override Letcher County, which in response to abusive industry practices has proposed an ordinance regulating the location of "gathering lines," which are pipelines used to convey natural gas.
The root of the problem is that the state Department of Mines and Minerals has never implemented a comprehensive program to make the industry accountable to surface landowners for the damage caused when gathering lines are located. Industry wants to sweep aside the ability of local governments to regulate, while not addressing the problem of overreaching by certain segments of the industry.
KRC has recommended that HB 458 direct the development of a state-level program for gathering line siting similar to the program currently in place for well location, in order to protect surface landowners and bring uniformity to regulation. Instead, the Committee Chair intends to bring the bill for a vote tomorrow on adjournment, with the provision overriding local government authority intact.
PLEASE send a fax or call the message line and send a message to each member of the House Natural Resources Commmittee to OPPOSE HB 458 AND TO SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF COUNTIES TO PROTECT THEIR CITIZENS FROM HARM.
Legislative Message Line: 800-372-7181 Legislators Fax Line 502-564-6543 MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE (in parenthesis are the counties they represent) Jim Gooch Jr. (Hopkins, Daviess, Webster, McLean) Rocky Adkins (Rowan, Lawrence, Boyd, Elliott) Tim Couch (Harlan, Leslie, Clay) Rick Rand (Carroll, Trimble, Oldham, Henry) Scott Brinkman (Jefferson) Brandon Smith (Perry, Harlan) Hubert Collins (Johnson, Martin, Floyd, Pike) Howard Cornett (Letcher, Harlan, Pike) Keith Hall (Pike) Don Pasley (Clark) Marie Rader (Jackson, Laurel, Owsley) Jim Stewart (Laurel, Knox) Robin Webb (Carter, Lewis) Brent Yonts (Hopkins, Christian, Muhlenberg)