Legislation has recently been drafted that would alter the process of hiring inspectors and increase discussion related to drilling operations. These new rules would be set forth in amendments to West Virginia's constitution that were approved on Monday September 12 by a special House-Senate committee, according to The Associated Press.
The original draft proposal was modified on that day to eliminate the state's Oil and Gas Inspectors' Examining Board. The board currently supplies an examination that applicants must pass in order to become inspectors and then creates a list of qualified candidates, The Associated Press reports.
James Martin, the chief of the Oil and Gas office at the Department of Environmental Protection, told lawmakers, "The main concern here is to have the best inspectors in the field that we can have," according to the media outlet.
He added that, "I just want to make it perfectly clear, because when we eliminate this board, we won't know what we're going to have."
The proposed amendment would put the responsibility of qualifying inspectors in the hands of the state Division of Personnel, The Associated Press reports. Legislative auditors have stated that the division handles tasks like these and the Examining Board has been missing a member for many years.