Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
Chapter 22.1. The Virginia Gas and Oil Act
11/28/2020

§ 45.1-361.32. Gas and Oil Plugging and Restoration Fund.

A. The Gas and Oil Plugging and Restoration Fund is hereby established as a non-lapsing revolving fund to be administered by the Department pursuant to the provisions of this section. The Fund shall consist of all payments made into the Fund by gas or oil operators, all collections of debt for expenditures made from the Fund and all interest payments made into the Fund pursuant to the provisions of this section. Interest earned on the Fund shall be credited to the Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller and any funds remaining in such Fund at the end of the biennium shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. In the event of a discontinuance of the Fund, any amounts remaining in the Fund shall be returned to all gas or oil operators with blanket bonds in proportion to the number of permits under the blanket bonds of each operator.

B. Pursuant to § 45.1-361.31, each gas or oil operator who has posted a blanket bond shall pay into the Fund a fee of fifty dollars per permit held, by July 31, 1990. Each permittee operating under a blanket bond shall annually pay to the Fund an amount equal to fifty dollars multiplied by the number of permits he then holds, such payment to be submitted with the annual report required under § 45.1-361.38, until the payments and interest accruing to the Fund totals $100,000.

C. Disbursements from the Fund shall be used only to supplement bond proceeds in order to pay for the full cost of plugging and restoration in the event of a blanket bond forfeiture.

D. The amount by which the cost of plugging and restoration exceeds the amount of the gas or oil operator's forfeited bond shall constitute a debt of the operator to the Commonwealth. The Director is authorized to collect such debts together with the costs of collection through appropriate legal action. All moneys collected pursuant to this subsection, less the costs of collection, shall be deposited in the Fund.

E. Once the initial balance of the Fund exceeds $100,000, and thereafter whenever the Director determines that the Fund's balance has fallen below $25,000 due to uncollectible debts, the Director shall assess a fee of fifty dollars per permit per year on all permittees with blanket bonds until the Fund's balance once again reaches $100,000.

F. No permit shall be issued to a gas or oil operator until he has fully reimbursed the Commonwealth for any debt incurred pursuant to the provisions of subsection D of this section.

1990, c. 92.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.