West Virginia is second only to Texas in the number of active oil and gas wells in the country. New drilling permits have more than tripled in recent years and West Virginia surface owners have very few rights to protect them from drillers unless they also own the minerals beneath their land. If you live in one of the state’s oil and gas producing counties you know about the polluted streams, needless destruction of timber, lost home sites, careless road building and ruined pastures caused by drillers.
The WV Surface Owners’ Rights Organization (WV SORO) is a growing statewide membership organization whose mission is to protect landowners from abuses by oil and gas drillers. WV-SORO was formed in 2007 by concerned landowners, public interest lawyer Dave McMahon and WV Citizen Action Group (WV-CAG). Our members come from 51 of West Virginia’s 55 counties and 26 other states.
If you are affected by drilling, join us and others who are working to protect and expand surface owners’ rights.
WV SORO focuses on public policy and regulatory changes needed to expand surface owners’ rights and help West Virginians protect their land and water resources. These include passage of a “Surface Owners’ Bill of Rights” to give landowners more say in the location of wells and access roads and ensure that we receive fair compensation for our losses and inconveniences. We can also help you understand your rights.
Sign this member-created petition calling on Governor Tomblin and legislative leaders to hold a special session to require enforcement of current regulations; strengthen regulations to reflect technological advancements; and restore, recognize and respect the constitutional property rights of landowners. Click here to sign the petition.
Well site during active drilling to the Marcelllus Shale formation in Upshur County, West Virginia, in 2008. (An additional water storage pit is not in the photo.) Copyright WVSORO, June 2008. Permission to use may be obtained from WVSORO. Click image to view index of high resolution photos of the site during drilling and after reclamation.