Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Subtitle I. Administration
Chapter 1. Administration
3/3/2024

Chapter 1. Administration.

Article 1. Department of Energy.

§ 45.2-100. Definitions.

As used in this title, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Chief" means the Chief of the Division of Mines of the Department of Energy.

"Department" means the Department of Energy.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Energy.

"State Geologist" means the Commissioner of Mineral Resources and State Geologist appointed pursuant to § 45.2-107.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-1.2; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.1; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 387, 532.

§ 45.2-101. Certified mail; subsequent mail or notices may be sent by regular mail.

Whenever in this title the Chief, the Director, or the Department is required to send any mail or notice by certified mail and such mail or notice is sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, then any subsequent, identical mail or notice that is sent by the Chief, the Director, or the Department may be sent by regular mail.

2011, c. 566, § 45.1-161.1:1; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-102. Department of Energy; appointment of Director.

The Department of Energy is established in the executive branch within the Secretariat of Commerce and Trade. The Department shall be headed by a Director who shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, to serve at the pleasure of the Governor for a term coincident with the Governor's term.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-1.1; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.2; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 387, 532.

§ 45.2-103. Powers of Department.

The Department shall have the following powers and duties, any of which, with the approval of the Director, may be exercised by any division of the Department with respect to matters assigned to that division:

1. To employ the personnel required to carry out the purposes of this title;

2. To make and enter into any contract or agreement necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this title, including reciprocal agreements with responsible officers of other states and contracts with the private sector, the United States, other state agencies, and governmental subdivisions of the Commonwealth;

3. To accept grants from the United States government and agencies and instrumentalities thereof and any other source. To these ends, the Department may comply with any condition and execute any agreement that is necessary, convenient, or desirable;

4. To adopt regulations necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties or execution of its powers under this title or any other provision of law. Such regulations shall be adopted by the Department, the Chief, or the Director, as appropriate, and in accordance with the provisions of Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act; and

5. To do all acts necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of this title.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-1.3; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.3; 2014, c. 145; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-104. Powers and duties of Director.

The Director, under the direction and control of the Governor, shall exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred or imposed upon him by law and shall perform any other duties required of him by the Governor.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-1.4; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.4; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-104.1. Appointment of Chief Clean Energy Policy Advisor.

The Chief Clean Energy Policy Advisor shall be appointed by the Governor and shall be under the direction of and report to the Director.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 532.

§ 45.2-105. Establishment of divisions; division heads.

The following divisions, through which the functions, powers, and duties of the Department may be discharged, are established in the Department: a Division of Mines, a Division of Mined Land Repurposing, a Division of Geology and Mineral Resources, a Division of Gas and Oil, a Division of Mineral Mining, a Division of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, and a Division of Offshore Wind. The Director may establish other divisions as he deems necessary. The Director shall appoint persons to direct the various functions and programs of each division and may delegate to the head of any division any of the powers and duties conferred or imposed by law on the Director.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-1.5; 1990, c. 92; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.5; 2008, c. 369; 2020, c. 794; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 387, 532.

§ 45.2-106. Department to serve as lead agency for inspections undertaken subsequent to the issuance of a permit.

Following the issuance of any permit under Chapter 10 (§ 45.2-1000 et seq.) or 12 (§ 45.2-1200 et seq.), the Department shall serve as the lead agency for enforcement of the provisions of the permit. Any other agency that has reviewed and approved, or not disapproved, a permit application prior to its approval by the Director shall contact the Director or his designee prior to making any routine inspection. The Director or his designee shall then contact the permittee, if prior contact is to be made, to schedule the inspection and shall accompany any employee of any agency other than the Department during any inspection by such other agency. However, nothing in this section shall apply in the event of a blackwater discharge, a failure of a waste treatment facility, or any situation that in the judgment of the State Water Control Board requires an inspection on an emergency or expedited basis.

1984, c. 188, § 45.1-1.9; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.6; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

Article 2. Division of Geology and Mineral Resources.

§ 45.2-107. Division of Geology and Mineral Resources; State Geologist.

There is established in the Department a Division of Geology and Mineral Resources. The Director shall appoint a geologist of established reputation as the Commissioner of Mineral Resources and State Geologist to serve as chief executive and head officer of the Division. As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning, "Division" means the Division of Geology and Mineral Resources.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-383; 2008, c. 369; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 387, 532.

§ 45.2-108. General powers and duties of State Geologist.

The State Geologist shall exercise those powers and perform those duties, in relation to mineral resources, geology, and geophysical matters, that are conferred or imposed upon the Director by the provisions of this title, including powers and duties delegated to him by the Director. The State Geologist may also exercise and perform such other powers and duties as are lawfully delegated to him and such powers and duties as are conferred or imposed upon him by law.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-384; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-109. Using or revealing proprietary information.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, neither the State Geologist nor any employee or agent of the Division shall make use of or reveal any proprietary information or statistic gathered from any source for any purpose other than that of this chapter, except with the express written consent of the source of such information or statistic. The State Geologist shall not reveal such information to the Director or any other employee of the Department who is not employed within the Division.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-385; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-110. Powers and duties of the Division.

The Division has the following powers and duties:

1. Examination of the geological formations of the Commonwealth and the resources contained therein, with special reference to both economic products and energy resources, including coal, ore, clay, feldspar, lime, natural gas, oil, cement, sand and gravel, stone, materials suitable for use in building and road construction, mineral water, other mineral substances, and geothermal energy resources.

2. Examination of latent resources and waste minerals to determine the best methods of utilizing them and study of the soils and weathered residuum as related to parent rock.

3. Maintenance of repositories for representative rock and mineral materials from various wells, mines, excavations, and naturally occurring exposures.

4. Maintenance of records and statistics of the mineral industry and geological conditions of the Commonwealth.

5. Performance of chemical and physical tests, including test borings, to acquire subsurface information relative to mineral deposits masked by soils and rock overburden.

6. Examination of the physical features of the Commonwealth with reference to their practical bearing upon the occupation and well-being of the people.

7. Preparation of special geological and economic maps and displays to illustrate the resources of the Commonwealth.

8. Preparation of regular and special reports, with necessary illustrations and maps, that embrace both a general and detailed description of the geology and mineral resources of the Commonwealth.

9. Consideration of such other scientific and economic questions that in the judgment of the Director are deemed of value to the people of the Commonwealth.

10. Arrangement for the investigation and reporting of the geology of the Commonwealth with the Director or the representative of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in regard to cooperation between the USGS and the Department in topographic and geologic work when deemed necessary and of advantage to the Commonwealth. The Director may accept or reject the work of the USGS.

11. Participation in matters requiring advice and guidance sought by state agencies and institutions concerning geological and mineral resources as related to state lands.

12. Provision of basic research and the development of methods utilized in the determination of characteristics, structure, and origin for geological formations and economic mineral deposits.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-386; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-111. Publication of reports.

The Director may direct the publication of the reports of the Division, with proper illustrations and maps, and the reports shall be distributed as the interests of the Commonwealth and of science indicate.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-387; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-112. Disposition of materials that have served purpose of the Division.

Materials collected after having served the purpose of the Division shall be distributed to the educational institutions of the Commonwealth in the manner that the Director determines to be of the greatest advantage to the educational interests of the Commonwealth.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-388; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-113. Immunity from prosecution for trespass.

No criminal action for trespass shall lie against the State Geologist or any agent or employee of the State Geologist pursuant to any lawful act done in the performance of his duties, including entry upon the lands of any person for the purpose of performing such duties.

1984, c. 590, § 45.1-389; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.