Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 9. Requirements Applicable to Surface Coal Mines
9/27/2021

§ 45.2-939. (Effective October 1, 2021) Surface coal mining; distance from wells; requirements.

A. Any mine operator who plans to remove coal or extend any workings in any mine to a distance of less than 500 feet from any gas or oil well that is already drilled or is in the process of being drilled shall file with the Chief a notice that such mining is taking place or will take place, together with copies of parts of the maps and plans required under § 45.2-542 that show the mine workings and projected mine workings beneath the tract in question and within 500 feet of the well. Such mine operator shall simultaneously mail copies of such notice, maps, and plans by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the well operator and the Gas and Oil Inspector appointed pursuant to the provisions of § 45.2-1604. The mine operator shall certify in each notice that he has complied with the provisions of this subsection.

B. Subsequent to the filing of the notice required by subsection A, the mine operator may proceed with surface coal mining operations in accordance with the maps and plans. However, without the prior approval of the Chief, such mine operator shall not remove any coal or extend any workings in any mine to a distance of less than 200 feet from any gas or oil well that is already drilled or is in the process of being drilled.

C. The Chief shall adopt regulations that prescribe the procedure to be followed by a mine operator in petitioning the Chief for approval to conduct surface coal mining operations to a distance of less than 200 feet from a well. A petition may include a request to mine through a plugged well or a plugged vertical ventilation hole. Such petition may also include a request to mine through a well or a vertical ventilation hole and to lower the head of such well or vertical ventilation hole. Each mine operator who files a petition to remove coal or extend any workings to a distance of less than 200 feet from any gas or oil well shall mail copies of the petition, maps, and plans by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the well operator and the Gas and Oil Inspector no later than the day of filing. The well operator and the Gas and Oil Inspector shall have standing to object to any petition filed under this section. Such objection shall be filed within 10 days following the date such petition is filed.

1990, c. 92, § 45.1-92.1; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.292; 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.