Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 16. Virginia Gas and Oil Act

§ 45.2-1634. Gas and Oil Plugging and Restoration Fund.

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Gas and Oil Plugging and Restoration Fund, referred to in this section as "the Fund." 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 shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to the Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller and any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Director or his designee.

B. Each permittee operating under a blanket bond pursuant to § 45.2-1633 shall annually pay to the Fund an amount equal to $50 multiplied by the number of permits he then holds, such payment to be submitted with the annual report required under § 45.2-1640, until the payments and interest accruing to the Fund totals $100,000. 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 $50 per permit per year on each permittee with a blanket bond until the Fund's balance once again reaches $100,000.

C. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purpose of supplementing 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. 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.

F. In the event of a discontinuance of the Fund, any amounts remaining in the Fund shall be returned to each gas or oil operator with a blanket bond in proportion to the number of permits under the blanket bond of each operator.

1990, c. 92, § 45.1-361.32; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

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.