But he's concerned that the bill leaves it up to the DEP to go through the rule-making process to develop standards for cement casings for the horizontal wells - critical to avoid blowouts that could contaminate groundwater - rather than having the requirements spelled out in the legislation.
"Our people have a fear. They have a fear we're going to pollute the underground water. They fear we're going to pollute the surface water," he said.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Tomblin called the bill a landmark piece of legislation, and said its passage marks "an exciting achievement in our state's history."
While the bill he introduced differed notably from the select committee's recommendations, Tomblin denied making it more industry-friendly, or weakening recommended environmental standards.
"You've got to have legislation you can get the votes to pass," he said, noting that only five legislators voted against the bill.
"A majority of members must have felt it did a fair job of protecting the environment," he said.
One of the more vocal critics of the governor's bill, Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia, voted for the legislation Wednesday, despite saying she was disappointed it does not do more to protect the environment and surface owners' rights.
"I think the notion is preposterous that this industry doesn't need more regulation," she said. "This affects our water. This affects our land, and it affects people's property rights."
In the Senate, select committee co-chairman Sen. Doug Facemire, D-Braxton, called the legislation a good beginning for Marcellus Shale regulation.
"It is a foundation for us to start with," he said. "There's more protection for the environment, and there's more protection for the surface owners."
In the House, Delegates Troy Andes, R-Putnam; Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson; Mike Manypenny, D-Taylor: Linda Phillips, D-Wyoming; and Brian Savilla, R-Putnam, voted against the bill.
Delegates Kevin Craig, D-Cabell, and Roy Givens, D-Brooke, were absent, while Delegate Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie, was excused from voting, because he is in negotiations with a drilling company to lease farmland he owns.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.