Among other things, the legislation would make drillers say what chemicals they use in the hydro-fracturing process, commonly known as "fracking."
A previous version of the proposal would have required drillers to also disclose the quantities of those chemicals, but the industry complained that rule would make them reveal trade secrets.
"That's okay, as long as they really reveal what they're putting in there," McMahon said.
House Judiciary Committee members also made changes they said would smooth out tensions between natural gas operators and the coal industry about giving notice to coal mine operators when drilling will occur near mines.
Also, committee members added provisions to make drill operators notify surface owners within 30 days of surveying their land for proposed access roads on drill sites and new well work. This would apply to both horizontal and vertical wells.
Drillers would have to offer to meet with the surface owner to explain their plans.
The committee also amended the bill to change the way the state hires gas well inspectors. That is currently handled by the state Oil and Gas Inspectors' Examining Board. Under the committee's changes, the state Environmental Protection would hire inspectors using the same process it does for other types of inspectors.
Environmentalists and surface owners say the current system for hiring well inspectors favors the industry.
Reach Alison Knezevich at alis...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.