W.Va. DEP Has Backlog Of 250 Gas Well Permits

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The Department of Environmental Protection says permits for horizontal gas wells are coming in faster than they're being processed.

Secretary Randy Huffman says he has a backlog of more than 250 permits. He hopes to have it under control by the end of the summer.

Huffman spoke Tuesday to the state Chamber of Commerce.

The DEP has gotten more money for staff, but Huffman says he's having trouble hiring and has added only one employee to the permitting team.

Huffman says one new hire quit after less than a month and another quit before the first day.

Meanwhile, 20 veteran inspectors have filed grievances over the new hiring push, arguing that the DEP wrongly created two sets of pay, hiring qualifications and job requirements.