Letter: Drilling rule is essential for neighbors – Billings Gazette, Oct. 30, 2016

A proposal to provide advance notification of oil and gas drilling proposals to neighbors is being discussed by the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation.

For over two years, the board has been considering Montanans requests to provide valuable protections and basic information for landowners in oil and gas development areas. This new rule would give those who live within a quarter mile of a proposed well the information they need to voice their concerns before a permit is issued for drilling, even if the proposed well site isn’t on their land. Without this rule a new well could be drilled right across the road from you and, unless you regularly read legal notices, you might never know about it until the rig moved in!

This rule would give people who could be the most impacted by a well the chance to go before the board and give input on the proposed site. It is essential the board pass this rule. Without it, those who have the potential of being impacted by nearby drilling are not guaranteed the information they need to have the opportunity to be heard before a well site is permitted.

Susann Beug
Red Lodge