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WV Legislature doing little to help residents affected by natural gas drilling

Editor’s Note This article was produced in partnership with the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

By KATE MISHKIN

Charleston Gazette-Mail

More than a dozen horizontal natural gas wells can be drilled from a single well pad, like this one in Doddridge County.
(Photo by MAYETA CLARK | ProPublica and CHUCK BURKHARD | Drone Imageworks, for ProPublica)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Delegate Terri Sypolt says she understands how natural gas drilling has changed the look and feel of communities in the state, bringing an influx of noisy truck traffic and construction.

“I’m thinking about a neighbor’s dog howling for two years right at your doorstep,” said Sypolt, a Republican from Preston County, in the northern region of the state.

So, when she returned to Charleston for this year’s legislative session, she introduced a bill for the third consecutive year to monitor the air and noise around drilling operations, hoping her colleagues would take action to help residents.

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