Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department of Energy
Chapter 150. Virginia Gas and Oil Regulation

4VAC25-150-190. Closure orders.

A. The director shall immediately order a cessation of operations or of the relevant portion thereof, when he finds any condition or practice which:

1. Creates or can be reasonably expected to create an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, including miners; or

2. Causes or can reasonably be expected to cause significant, imminent, environmental harm to land, air or water resources.

B. The director may order a cessation of operations or of the relevant portion thereof, when:

1. A permittee fails to meet the deadline for abatement or for completion of any interim step under a notice of violation;

2. Repeated notices of violations have been issued for the same condition or practice; or

3. Gas, oil or geophysical operations are being conducted by any person without a valid permit from the Division of Gas and Oil.

C. A closure order shall be in writing, signed and shall set forth with reasonable specificity:

1. The nature of the condition, practice or violation;

2. A reasonable description of the portion of the operation to which the closure order applies;

3. The remedial action required, if any, which may include interim steps; and

4. A reasonable deadline for abatement, which may include deadline for accomplishment of interim steps.

D. A closure order shall require the person subject to the order to take all steps the director deems necessary to abate the violations covered by the order in the most expeditious manner physically possible.

E. If a permittee fails to abate a condition or practice or complete any interim step as required in a closure order, the director shall issue a show cause order under 4VAC25-150-200.

F. The director shall terminate a closure order by written notice to the person subject to the order when he determines that all conditions, practices or violations listed in the order have been abated.

G. A person issued a closure order may request, in writing to the director, an informal fact-finding hearing to review the issuance of the order within 10 days of receipt of the order. The person may request, in writing to the director, an expedited hearing within three days of receipt of the order.

H. A person is not relieved of the duty to abate any condition under, or comply with, any requirement of a closure order during an appeal of the order.

I. The director shall conduct an informal fact-finding hearing, in accordance with the Administrative Process Act, § 2.2-4019 of the Code of Virginia, no later than 15 days after the order was issued, or in the case of an expedited hearing, no later than five days after the order was issued.

J. The director shall affirm, modify, or vacate the closure order in writing to the person the order was issued to no later than five days after the date of the hearing.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-361.27 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-05-22.1 § 1.19, eff. September 25, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 2, eff. November 11, 1998; Volume 29, Issue 3, eff. November 8, 2012; Volume 30, Issue 1, eff. October 10, 2013.

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