Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department Of Mines, Minerals And Energy
Chapter 150. Virginia Gas and Oil Regulation
9/17/2021

4VAC25-150-480. Orphaned wells; right of entry.

A. Written consent from the owner of record or lessee, or their authorized agents, is the preferred means for obtaining agreements to enter lands in order to carry out plugging of orphaned wells and restoration of their sites. Nonconsensual entry under § 45.1- 361.27 E of the Code of Virginia shall be undertaken only after reasonable efforts have been made to obtain written consent.

B. Consent and entry shall meet the following standards:

1. The director or authorized contractors may enter lands to perform plugging and restoration activities or to conduct studies or investigations of orphaned wells if consent from the owner is obtained.

2. If consent is not obtained, then, prior to entry under this section, the director shall find, in writing, with supporting reasons, that:

a. Citizens or the environment of the Commonwealth or persons involved in coal or mineral mining may be at risk from an orphaned well; and

b. The owner of the land where entry must be made to plug an orphaned well and restore the site is not known or readily available, or the owner will not give permission for the director or authorized contractors to enter to plug the orphaned well and reclaim the site.

C. If consent is not obtained, the director shall give notice of his intent to enter for the purposes of conducting plugging and restoration at least 30 days before entry into the property. The notice shall be in writing and shall be mailed, return receipt requested, to the owner, if known, with a copy of the findings required by this section. If the owner is not known, or if the current mailing address of the owner is not known, notice shall be posted in one or more places on the property to be entered, where it is readily visible to the public. The notice posted on the property and the newspaper notice pursuant to § 45.1-361.40 C of the Code of Virginia shall include a statement of where the findings required by this section may be inspected or obtained.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-05-22.1 § 1.48, eff. September 25, 1991.

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