CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The public can start weighing in on West Virginia's new rule governing Marcellus shale drilling.
The 30-day comment period began Thursday in advance of legislative review of the rule.
The emergency regulation for this vast natural gas reserve was issued last month. Among other topics, it requires drillers to explain how they'll protect area land, manage the large volumes of water involved, and respond to accidents.
Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered the Department of Environmental Protection to draft the rule. It lasts 15 months.
Public comments are meant to help lawmakers write a permanent version in 2012.
Legislators are also attempting a more comprehensive Marcellus measure that can be acted on during a special session this year.
DEP is accepting the comments, including by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)