Most of those involved in drilling for natural gas in West Virginia behave responsibly. In constructing drill pads and other facilities, they try to be good neighbors. Concerns such as storm water runoff are anticipated and dealt with before they become problems.
But that is voluntary. State law doesn't require control of storm water runoff from such sites.
It will soon, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. New rules regulating storm water discharge from drilling sites are being prepared.
Good. But the DEP's decision to exempt some gas industry work, including construction of pipelines, is puzzling. Pipeline work can gouge narrow, but miles-long holes in the earth. The potential for storm water runoff problems seems obvious.
DEP officials should consider including pipelines in the new rules.