PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 2689

PRINTER'S NO.  2765

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

HOUSE BILL

 

No.

1950

Session of

2011

  

  

INTRODUCED BY ELLIS, S. H. SMITH, TURZAI, SAYLOR, REED, ADOLPH, MAJOR, STEVENSON, VEREB, ROSS, GROVE, MARSHALL, HELM, VULAKOVICH, P. COSTA, GERGELY, MOUL, CHRISTIANA, TALLMAN, EVERETT AND K. SMITH, NOVEMBER 1, 2011

  

  

AS AMENDED ON SECOND CONSIDERATION, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, NOVEMBER 16, 2011   

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

1

Amending Titles 27 (Environmental Resources) and 58 (Oil and

2

Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, requiring

3

rents and royalties from oil and gas leases of Commonwealth

4

land to be placed in a special fund to be used for

5

conservation, recreation, dams, flood control and certain

6

interfund transfers; authorizing the Secretary of

7

Conservation and Natural Resources to determine the need for

8

and location of such projects and to acquire the necessary

9

land; providing for interfund transfer; establishing the 

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10

Keystone Transit Program; providing a transfer of funds from

11

the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to the Department of Environmental

12

Protection for a competitive grant program for the transition

13

of small mass transit bus fleets to compressed natural gas;

14

establishing the Clean Transit Program; providing a transfer

15

of funds from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to the Department of

16

Environmental Protection for a loan program for the

17

transition of large mass transit bus fleets to compressed

18

natural gas; authorizing counties to impose and collect an

19

unconventional gas well impact fee; providing for

20

distribution of fees and for the Oil and Gas Lease Fund;

21

consolidating the Oil and Gas Act with modifications and

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22

additions; providing for local ordinances relating to oil and 

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23

gas operations; and repealing an act relating to the

24

establishment of the Oil and Gas Lease Fund and the Oil and

25

Gas Act.

26

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

27

hereby enacts as follows:

28

Section 1.  Title 27 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated

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1

Statutes is amended by adding chapters to read:

2

CHAPTER 33

3

OIL AND GAS

4

Subchapter

5

A.  (Reserved)

6

B.  Oil and Gas Lease Fund

7

SUBCHAPTER A

8

(RESERVED)

9

SUBCHAPTER B

10

OIL AND GAS LEASE FUND

11

Sec.

12

3301.  Definitions.

13

3302.  Oil and Gas Lease Fund.

14

3303.  Powers and duties of secretary.

15

3304.  Appropriation of moneys.

16

3305.  Interfund transfers.

17

§ 3301.  Definitions.

18

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter

19

shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

20

context clearly indicates otherwise:

21

"Department."  The Department of Conservation and Natural

22

Resources of the Commonwealth.

23

"Fund."  The Oil and Gas Lease Fund established by this

24

subchapter.

25

"Secretary."  The Secretary of Conservation and Natural

26

Resources of the Commonwealth.

27

§ 3302.  Oil and Gas Lease Fund.

28

(a)  Establishment.--The Oil and Gas Lease Fund is

29

established in the State Treasury.

30

(b)  Deposits.--All rents and royalties from oil and gas

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1

leases of any land owned by the Commonwealth, except rents and

2

royalties received from game and fish lands, shall be placed in

3

the fund to be used exclusively:

4

(1)  for conservation, recreation, dams or flood control;

5

(2)  to match any Federal grants which may be made for

6

any of the purposes enumerated in this subchapter; and

7

(3)  for interfund transfers as provided in section 3305

8

(relating to interfund transfers).

9

§ 3303.  Powers and duties of secretary.

10

The secretary shall have the following powers and duties:

11

(1)  To determine, in the secretary's discretion, the

12

need for and the location of any project authorized by this

13

chapter.

14

(2)  To acquire in the name of the Commonwealth by

15

purchase, condemnation or otherwise such lands as may be

16

needed.

17

§ 3304.  Appropriation of moneys.

18

All the moneys from time to time paid into the fund are

19

specifically appropriated on a continuing basis to the

20

department to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

21

§ 3305.  Interfund transfers.

22

Transfers shall be made between funds in the State Treasury

23

as follows:

24

(1)  On July 1, 2013, and each July 1 thereafter, an

25

amount equal to 25% of the total moneys received from the

26

prior fiscal year shall be transferred from the fund to the

27

Environmental Stewardship Fund for the purpose of plugging

28

abandoned oil and gas wells and other uses authorized by law

29

for the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

30

(2)  (i)  Beginning July 1, 2014, a total of $40,000,000

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1

shall be transferred from the fund to the Hazardous Sites

2

Cleanup Fund for the purpose of remedial response or

3

remedy at oil and gas well sites and other uses

4

authorized by law for the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.

5

(ii)  On July 1, 2015, and each July 1 thereafter,

6

the following shall apply:

7

(A)  the sum of the amount transferred under

8

subparagraph (i) during the prior fiscal year; and

9

(B)  an amount equal to the percentage change in

10

the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers from

11

the prior fiscal year, multiplied by the amount in

12

clause (A),

13

shall be transferred from the fund to the Hazardous Sites

14

Cleanup Fund for the purpose specified in subparagraph

15

(i).

16

(3)  On July 1, 2013, and each July 1 thereafter, an

17

amount equal to 5% of the total moneys received from the

18

prior fiscal year, but not to exceed $5,000,000, shall be

19

transferred from the fund to the several counties, school

20

districts and townships entitled to receive payment from the

21

Commonwealth in lieu of taxes under the act of May 17, 1929

22

(P.L.1798, No.591), referred to as the Forest Reserves

23

Municipal Financial Relief Law. The moneys transferred under

24

this paragraph shall be allocated to each county, school

25

district and township based on the number of acres of land in

26

the county, school district or township to which the payment

27

under that act applies in proportion to the aggregate number

28

of acres of all such lands of the counties, school districts

29

and townships in this Commonwealth.

30

(4)  On July 1, 2013, and each July 1 thereafter, a total

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1

of $15,000,000 shall be transferred from the fund to the

2

Conservation District Fund. These funds shall be distributed

3

in a manner consistent with the act of May 15, 1945 (P.L.547,

4

No.217), known as the Conservation District Law, and the

5

provisions of the State Conservation Commission's

6

Conservation District Fund Allocation Program—Statement of

7

Policy under 25 Pa. Code Ch. 83 Subch. B (relating to

8

Conservation District Fund Allocation Program—Statement of

9

Policy).

10

CHAPTER 35

11

WELLS

12

Subchapter

13

A.  Unconventional Gas Wells

14

B.  (Reserved)

15

SUBCHAPTER A

16

UNCONVENTIONAL GAS WELLS

17

Sec.

18

3501.  Short title.

19

3502.  Definitions.

20

3503.  Unconventional gas well impact fee.

21

3504.  (Reserved).

22

3505.  (Reserved).

23

3506.  Administration.

24

3506.1.  Well information.

25

3506.2.  Payment confirmation.

26

3506.3.  County authority.

27

3506.4.  Enforcement.

28

3506.5.  Examinations.

29

3507.  Deposit of fees.

30

3508.  Allocation and distribution of fees.

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1

3509.  Calculation of payments.

2

3510.  Recordkeeping and State reporting.

3

3511.  Expiration.

4

§ 3501.  Short title.

5

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the

6

Unconventional Gas Well Impact Act.

7

§ 3502.  Definitions.

8

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter

9

shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

10

context clearly indicates otherwise:

11

"Association."  A partnership, limited partnership or any

12

other form of unincorporated enterprise owned or conducted by

13

two or more persons.

14

"Coal bed methane."  Gas that can be produced from coal beds,

15

coal seams, mined-out areas or gob wells.

16

"Corporation."  A corporation, joint stock association,

17

limited liability company, business trust or any other

18

incorporated enterprise organized under the laws of the United

19

States, this Commonwealth or any other state, territory or

20

foreign country or dependency.

21

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

22

the Commonwealth.

23

"Highway mileage."  The number of miles of public roads and

24

streets most recently certified by the Department of

25

Transportation as eligible for distribution of liquid fuels

26

funds under the act of June 1, 1956 (1955 P.L.1944, No.655),

27

referred to as the Liquid Fuels Tax Municipal Allocation Law.

28

"Municipality."  A city, borough, incorporated town or

29

township.

30

"Natural gas."  A fossil fuel consisting of a mixture of

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1

hydrocarbon gases, primarily methane, possibly including ethane,

2

propane, butane, pentane, carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen and

3

hydrogen sulfide and other gas species. The term includes gas

4

from oil fields known as associated gas or casing head gas,

5

natural gas fields known as nonassociated gas, coal beds, shale

6

beds and other formations. The term does not include coal bed

7

methane.

8

"Nonproducing well."  A natural gas well that produces an

9

average of less than 90,000 cubic feet of natural gas per day

10

during a calendar year.

11

"Operator."  A person or its subsidiary, affiliate or holding

12

company that holds a permit or other authorization to engage in

13

the business of severing natural gas for sale, profit or

14

commercial use from an unconventional well in this Commonwealth.

15

The term does not include a person who severs natural gas from a

16

storage field.

17

"Person."  A natural person or a corporation, fiduciary,

18

association or other entity, including the Commonwealth and any

19

of its political subdivisions, instrumentalities and

20

authorities. When the term is used in a provision prescribing

21

and imposing a penalty or imposing a fine or both, the term

22

shall include a member of an association and an officer of a

23

corporation.

24

"Rate."  The rate under section 3503 (relating to

25

unconventional gas well impact fee).

26

"Reporting period."  The fiscal year in which a well impact

27

fee is assessed.

28

"Unconventional gas well."  A bore hole drilled or being

29

drilled for the purpose of or to be used for producing oil or

30

gas from a geologic shale formation existing below the base of

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1

the Elk Sandstone or its geologic equivalent stratigraphic

2

interval where oil or gas generally cannot be produced at

3

economic flow rates or in economic volumes except by wells

4

stimulated by hydraulic fracture treatments, a horizontal well

5

bore or by using multilateral well bores or other techniques to

6

expose more of the formation of the well bore.

7

"Unconventional gas well impact fee."  A fee that is adopted

8

under section 3503 (relating to unconventional gas well impact

9

fee) on each unconventional well producing natural gas within

10

this Commonwealth.

11

§ 3503.  Unconventional gas well impact fee.

12

(a)  Imposition.--By enactment of an ordinance by the

13

governing body of a county, except as set forth in subsection

14

(b), a county may impose an unconventional gas well impact fee

15

on each unconventional gas well that is located on a well pad

16

and produces natural gas within the county.

17

(b)  Exemptions.--The unconventional gas well impact fee

18

shall not be imposed on:

19

(1)  nonproducing wells; or

20

(2)  unconventional gas wells in which the natural gas is

21

used directly by a consumer.

22

(c)  Fee for existing unconventional wells.--The fee for an

23

unconventional well producing natural gas which is in existence

24

on the effective date of the ordinance under subsection (a)

25

shall be as follows:

26

(1)  For the first year of production following the

27

effective date of the ordinance, not more than $40,000.

28

(2)  For the second year of production following the

29

effective date of the ordinance, not more than $30,000.

30

(3)  For the third year of production following the

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1

effective date of the ordinance, not more than $20,000.

2

(4)  For the fourth year of production through the tenth

3

year of production following the effective date of the

4

ordinance, not more than $10,000.

5

(d)  Fee for new unconventional wells.--The fee for an

6

unconventional well producing natural gas drilled after the

7

effective date of the ordinance under subsection (a) shall be as

8

follows:

9

(1)  For the first year of production, not more than

10

$40,000.

11

(2)  For the second year of production, not more than

12

$30,000.

13

(3)  For the third year of production, not more than

14

$20,000.

15

(4)  For the fourth year of production through the tenth

16

year of production, not more than $10,000.

17

(e)  Vertical unconventional well fee.--

18

(1)  The fee for an unconventional vertical well shall be

19

not more than 25% of the fee established in subsections (c)

20

and (d).

21

(2)  For purposes of this subsection, an unconventional

22

vertical well shall be defined as an unconventional well

23

producing oil or gas from a geologic shale formation existing

24

below the base of the Elk Sandstone or its geologic

25

equivalent stratigraphic interval and utilizes hydraulic

26

fracture treatment through a single vertical well bore.

27

(f)  Prohibition.--

28

(1)  Under no circumstances may an operator make an

29

unconventional gas well impact fee, or any other levy related

30

to the removal or extraction of natural gas, an obligation,

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1

indebtedness or liability of a landowner, leaseholder or

2

other person in possession of real property upon which such

3

removal or extraction occurs.

4

(2)  An agreement between an operator and a landowner,

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5

leaseholder or other person in possession of real property

6

upon which removal or extraction of natural gas occurs that

7

violates paragraph (1) shall be null and void.

8

(g)  Retroactivity prohibited.--No fee shall be imposed to

9

cover a period of natural gas production which occurred prior to

10

the effective date of the ordinance.

11

§ 3504.  (Reserved).

12

§ 3505.  (Reserved).

13

§ 3506.  Administration.

14

(a)  Report.--By April 1 of the year after enactment of an

15

ordinance imposing a fee under this chapter and each April 1

16

thereafter, each producer shall submit a report and payment of

17

the fee with the county on a form prescribed by the department

18

for the previous calendar year. The report shall include the

19

following:

20

(1)  The number of unconventional wells of a producer in

21

each municipality within the county.

22

(2)  The total number of cubic feet of natural gas

23

severed by the producer for each unconventional well

24

identified under paragraph (1) during the previous calendar

25

year.

26

(3)  The date that each unconventional well identified

27

under paragraph (1) began or ceased the production of natural

28

gas.

29

(b)  Fee due date.--The fee imposed under this chapter shall

30

be due by April 1 of the year after enactment of an ordinance

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1

imposing the fee and each April 1 thereafter. The fee shall

2

become delinquent if not remitted to the county on the reporting

3

date.

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4

§ 3506.1.  Well information.

5

(a)  List.--Upon request, the department shall provide a

6

county with a list of all unconventional wells that have

7

received a well permit from the department issued under this

8

chapter. The list shall be updated on a monthly basis. In lieu

9

of providing the list to each county, the department may

10

maintain a list on its publicly accessible Internet website if

11

the list is updated on a monthly basis.

12

(b)  Updates.--A producer shall notify the county within 30

13

days from the date the unconventional well began or ceased the

14

production of natural gas.

15

§ 3506.2.  Payment confirmation.

16

Prior to issuing a permit to drill an unconventional well in

17

this Commonwealth, the department shall require the permit

18

applicant to certify in its well permit application that the

19

producer has paid all fees that may be owed under this chapter.

20

The department may deny a well permit application if it finds

21

that the producer falsified this certification.

22

§ 3506.3.  County authority.

23

(a)  Powers.--A county may make all inquiries and

24

determinations necessary to calculate and collect a fee imposed

25

under this chapter, including, if applicable, interest and

26

penalties.

27

(b)  Notice.--If a county determines that a fee imposed under

28

this chapter has not been paid in full, it may issue a notice of

29

the amount due and demand for payment and shall set forth the

30

basis for the determination.

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1

(c)  Address.--Notice of failure to pay the correct fee shall

2

be sent to the producer at its registered address via certified

3

mail.

4

(d)  Time period.--A county may challenge the amount of a fee

5

paid under this chapter within three years after the date the

6

report under this chapter is filed.

7

(e)  Intent.--If no report is filed or a producer files a

8

false or fraudulent return with the intent to evade a fee, an

9

assessment of the amount owed may be made at any time.

10

§ 3506.4.  Enforcement.

11

(a)  Assessment.--A county may assess interest on any

12

delinquent fee imposed under this chapter at the rate prescribed

13

under section 806 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176),

14

known as The Fiscal Code.

15

(b)  Penalty.--In addition to the interest under subsection

16

(a), if a producer fails to make timely payment of the fee, a

17

penalty shall be added to the amount of the fee due. The amount

18

of the penalty shall be 5% for each month, or fraction of a

19

month, during which the failure continues, not to exceed 25% in

20

the aggregate.

21

(c)  Timely payment.--If a county determines that a producer

22

has not made a timely payment of the fee, the county shall send

23

a written notice of the amount of the deficiency to the producer

24

within 30 days from the date of determining the deficiency. If

25

the producer has not provided a complete and accurate statement

26

of the volume of natural gas extracted for the payment period,

27

the county may estimate the volume in its deficiency notice.

28

(d)  Remedies.--The remedies provided under this chapter

29

shall be in addition to any other remedies provided at law or in

30

equity.

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1

(e)  Lien.--Fines, fees, interest and penalties shall be

2

collectible in the manner provided by law for the collection of

3

debts. If the producer liable to pay any amount neglects or

4

refuses to pay the amount after demand, the amount, together

5

with costs that may accrue, shall be a judgment in favor of the

6

county upon the property of the producer, if the judgment has

7

been entered and docketed of record by the prothonotary of the

8

county where the property is situated.

9

§ 3506.5.  Examinations.

10

(a)  Access.--A county which has imposed a fee under this

11

chapter, or its authorized agents or representatives, shall:

12

(1)  Have access to the books, papers and records of any

13

producer in order to verify the accuracy and completeness of

14

a report filed or fee paid under this chapter.

15

(2)  Require and compel the preservation and production

16

of all books, papers and records for any period deemed proper

17

not to exceed three years from the end of the calendar year

18

to which the records relate.

19

(3)  Examine any employee of a producer concerning the

20

severing of natural gas subject to a fee or any matter

21

relating to the enforcement of this chapter.

22

(b)  Unauthorized disclosure.--

23

(1)  Any information obtained by a county as a result of

24

any report, examination, investigation or hearing under this

25

chapter shall be confidential and shall be exempt from

26

disclosure under the provisions of the act of February 14,

27

2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law, and shall

28

not be disclosed except in accordance with judicial order or

29

as otherwise provided by law.

30

(2)  An individual unlawfully divulging the information

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1

described under this subsection commits a misdemeanor and

2

shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not

3

more than $1,000 and costs of prosecution or to imprisonment

4

for not more than one year, or both.

5

§ 3507.  Deposit of fees.

6

(a)  Establishment.--Each county imposing a fee under this

7

chapter shall establish an interest-bearing account designed

8

solely for fees.

9

(b)  Deposit.--All fees collected by a county imposing a fee

10

under this chapter shall be deposited into the account described

11

under subsection (a).

12

§ 3508.  Allocation and distribution of fees.

13

(a)  Allocation of fees.--The fees deposited into the account

14

established under section 3507 (relating to deposit of fees)

15

shall be allocated as follows:

16

(1)  Seventy-five percent of the fees shall be allocated

17

to the county and its municipalities in the manner provided

18

under subsection (b).

19

(2)  Twenty-five percent of the fees shall be allocated

20

to the Commonwealth and distributed in the manner provided

21

under subsections (c) and (d).

22

(b)  Distribution of fees to county and municipalities.--The

23

fees allocated to the county and its municipalities under

24

subsection (a)(1) shall be distributed as follows:

25

(1)  Thirty-six percent of the fees shall be retained by

26

the county where the producing unconventional wells are

27

located.

28

(2)  Thirty-seven percent of the fees shall be

29

distributed to the municipalities where producing

30

unconventional wells are located. The amount for each

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1

municipality shall be determined using a formula that divides

2

the number of producing unconventional wells in the

3

municipality by the number of producing unconventional wells

4

in the county and multiplies the resulting percentage by the

5

amount available for distribution under this subparagraph.

6

(3)  Twenty-seven percent of the fees shall be

7

distributed to all municipalities in the county where

8

producing unconventional wells are located as follows:

9

(i)  Fifty percent shall be distributed to all

10

municipalities using a formula that divides the

11

population of the municipality within the county by the

12

total population of the county and multiplies the

13

resulting percentage by the amount available for

14

distribution to the county under this subparagraph.

15

(ii)  Fifty percent shall be distributed to each

16

municipality using a formula that divides the highway

17

mileage of the municipality within the county by the

18

total highway mileage of the county and multiplies the

19

resulting percentage by the amount available for

20

distribution to the county under this subparagraph.

21

(c)  Distribution of fees to Commonwealth.--The fees

22

allocated to the Commonwealth under subsection (a)(2) shall be

23

remitted to the Commonwealth for deposit into a restricted

24

account in the General Fund of the Commonwealth dedicated solely

25

for fees. The funds are hereby appropriated and shall be

26

distributed as follows and as set forth under subsection (e):

27

(1)  Seventy percent to the Department of Transportation

28

for road, bridge, rail and other transportation

29

infrastructure improvements to address impacts from

30

unconventional national gas development.

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1

(2)  Ten and one-half percent to the department, not to

2

exceed $10,000,000 annually, for the regulation of

3

unconventional gas wells and the plugging of abandoned and

4

orphan gas wells within the Commonwealth.

5

(3)  Seven and one-half percent to the Public Utility

6

Commission, not to exceed $2,000,000 annually, for the

7

enhancement, inspection and enforcement of pipeline safety

8

standards as required by law related to the safe transport of

9

gas and hazardous liquids.

10

(4)  Four and one-half percent to the Pennsylvania

11

Emergency Management Agency, not to exceed $2,000,000

12

annually, for emergency response planning, training and

13

coordination associated with unconventional natural gas

14

production activity within the Commonwealth.

15

(5)  Three and three-quarters percent to the Department

16

of Health, not to exceed $2,000,000 annually, for collecting

17

and disseminating information, preparing and conducting

18

health care provider outreach and education and investigating

19

health-related complaints and other uses associated with

20

unconventional natural gas production activity within this

21

Commonwealth.

22

(6)  Three and three-quarters percent to the Office of

23

State Fire Commissioner, not to exceed $2,000,000 annually,

24

for the development, delivery and sustainment of training

25

programs for first responders and acquisition of specialized

26

equipment necessary for emergency response.

27

(d)  Additional distribution of fees to Department of

28

Transportation.--In addition to the distribution of fees to the

29

Department of Transportation under subsection (c)(1), any funds

30

remaining in the restricted account after distribution of fees

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1

under subsection (c)(2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) are hereby

2

appropriated shall be distributed to the Department of

3

Transportation.

4

(e)  Continuing nature.--

5

(1)  The distributions under subsections (c) and (d)

6

shall be executive authorizations.

7

(2)  The appropriations under subsections (c) and (d)

8

shall be continuing appropriations. Those appropriations

9

shall not lapse at the end of any fiscal year.

10

(f)  Timing of distribution.--A county shall distribute the

11

fees authorized under this chapter within 45 days after the date

12

the fees are received.

13

(g)  Use of funds by counties and municipalities.--A county

14

or municipality receiving fees under this section shall make use

15

of the fees received only for the following purposes associated

16

with unconventional natural gas production within the county or

17

municipality:

18

(1)  Construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair

19

of roadways, bridges and public infrastructure.

20

(2)  Water, storm water and sewer systems, including

21

construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair.

22

(3)  Emergency preparedness and response, including

23

police, fire, hazardous material response, 911, equipment

24

acquisition, responder recruitment and other services.

25

(4)  Preservation and reclamation of surface and

26

subsurface waters and water supplies, including drinking

27

water monitoring and testing.

28

(5)  Records management, geographic information systems

29

and information technology.

30

(6)  Projects that increase the availability of

- 17 -

 


1

affordable housing, either for sale or rental, to residents

2

whose annual income is less than the area median income.

3

(7)  Delivery of social services, including domestic

4

relations, drug and alcohol treatment, job training and

5

counseling.

6

(8)  Assistance to the county conservation district for

7

inspection, oversight and enforcement of unconventional

8

natural gas development.

9

(9)  County or municipal planning.

10

(10)  Local tax reduction.

11

§ 3509.  Calculation of payments.

12

(a)  General rule.--The county treasurer of a county that

13

imposes and collects the unconventional gas well impact fee

14

shall certify the number of all unconventional gas wells located

15

within each municipality of the county based upon the

16

appropriate reports provided by the department.

17

(b)  Payments to municipalities.--The county treasurer of a

18

county that imposes and collects the unconventional gas well

19

impact fee shall pay to municipalities the amounts required

20

under this subchapter.

21

§ 3510.  Recordkeeping and State reporting.

22

(a)  General rule.--Commencing in calendar year 2012 and each

23

year thereafter, before December 1, each county that imposes and

24

collects the unconventional gas well impact fee authorized by

25

this subchapter shall prepare and deliver a report to the

26

Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the House of

27

Representatives detailing the expenditure of the funds collected

28

under this subchapter.

29

(b)  Audit.--The Department of Community and Economic

30

Development may audit a county's and municipality's expenditure

- 18 -

 


1

of the funds.

2

(c)  Availability of records.--A county and municipality that

3

receives the funds shall make its financial records and other

4

documents relating to its expenditure of the funds available to

5

the department.

6

(d)  Time.--Reports shall be prepared no later than June 30

7

of the year following the initial receipt of any fees

8

distributed under this section and each June 30 thereafter.

9

(e)  Location.--Reports shall be published on the county or

10

municipality's publicly accessible Internet website. If a

11

municipality does not maintain a publicly accessible Internet

12

website, the municipality shall provide its report to the

13

county, which shall publish the municipality's report on the

14

county's publicly accessible Internet website.

15

§ 3511.  Expiration.

16

(a)  Notice.--The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall, upon

17

the effective date of an act authorizing a severance tax on each

18

unconventional well producing gas in this Commonwealth, submit

19

for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin notice of that

20

fact.

21

(b)  Date.--This chapter shall expire on the date of the

22

publication of the notice under subsection (a).

23

SUBCHAPTER B

24

(RESERVED)

25

Section 2.  Title 58 is amended by adding parts to read:

26

PART I

27

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

28

(RESERVED)

29

PART II

30

(RESERVED)

- 19 -

 


1

PART III

2

UTILIZATION

3

Chapter

4

31.  (Reserved)

5

32.  Development

6

CHAPTER 31

7

(RESERVED)

8

CHAPTER 32

9

DEVELOPMENT

10

Subchapter

11

A.  Preliminary Provisions

12

B.  General Requirements

13

C.  Underground Gas Storage

14

D.  Eminent Domain

15

E.  Enforcement and Remedies

16

F.  Miscellaneous Provisions

17

SUBCHAPTER A

18

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

19

Sec.

20

3201.  Scope of chapter.

21

3202.  Declaration of purpose.

22

3203.  Definitions.

23

§ 3201.  Scope of chapter.

24

This chapter relates to oil and gas.

25

§ 3202.  Declaration of purpose.

26

The purposes of this chapter are to:

27

(1)  Permit optimal development of oil and gas resources

28

of this Commonwealth consistent with protection of the

29

health, safety, environment and property of Pennsylvania

30

citizens.

- 20 -

 


1

(2)  Protect the safety of personnel and facilities

2

employed in coal mining or exploration, development, storage

3

and production of natural gas or oil.

4

(3)  Protect the safety and property rights of persons

5

residing in areas where mining, exploration, development,

6

storage or production occurs.

7

(4)  Protect the natural resources, environmental rights

8

and values secured by the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

9

§ 3203.  Definitions.

10

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter

11

shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

12

context clearly indicates otherwise:

13

"Abandoned well."  Any of the following:

14

(1)  A well:

15

(i)  that has not been used to produce, extract or

16

inject any gas, petroleum or other liquid within the

17

preceding 12 months;

18

(ii)  for which equipment necessary for production,

19

extraction or injection has been removed; or

20

(iii)  considered dry and not equipped for production

21

within 60 days after drilling, redrilling or deepening.

22

(2)  The term does not include wells granted inactive

23

status.

24

"Alteration."  An operation which changes the physical

25

characteristics of a well bore, including stimulation or

26

removing, repairing or changing the casing. For the purpose of

27

this chapter only, the term does not include:

28

(1)  Repairing or replacing of the casing if the activity

29

does not affect the depth or diameter of the well bore, the

30

use or purpose of the well does not change and the activity

- 21 -

 


1

complies with regulations promulgated under this chapter,

2

except that this exclusion does not apply:

3

(i)  to production casings in coal areas when the

4

production casings are also the coal protection casings;

5

or

6

(ii)  when the method of repairing or replacing the

7

casing would affect the coal protection casing.

8

(2)  Stimulation of a well.

9

"Board."  The Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board.

10

"Bridge."  An obstruction placed in a well at any depth.

11

"Building."  An occupied structure with walls and roof within

12

which persons live or customarily work.

13

"Casing."  A string or strings of pipe commonly placed in

14

wells drilled for natural gas or petroleum.

15

"Cement" or "cement grout."  Any of the following:

16

(1)  Hydraulic cement properly mixed with water only.

17

(2)  A mixture of materials adequate for bonding or

18

sealing of well bores as approved by regulations promulgated

19

under this chapter.

20

"Coal mine."  Any of the following:

21

(1)  Operations in a coal seam, including excavated

22

portions, abandoned portions and places actually being

23

worked.

24

(2)  Underground workings and shafts, slopes, tunnels and

25

other ways and openings, including those which are in the

26

course of being sunk or driven, along with all roads and

27

facilities connected with them below the surface.

28

"Coal operator."  A person that operates or proposes to

29

operate a coal mine as an owner or lessee.

30

"Completion of a well."  The date after treatment, if any,

- 22 -

 


1

that the well is properly equipped for production of oil or gas,

2

or, if the well is dry, the date that the well is abandoned.

3

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

4

the Commonwealth.

5

"Drilling."  The drilling or redrilling of a well or the

6

deepening of an existing well.

7

"Environmental law."  Any of the following:

8

(1)  A Federal statute pertaining to oil and gas

9

operations, public health, safety, natural resources or the

10

environment.

11

(2)  A Federal regulation, rule, administrative order or

12

agency interpretation or guidance pertaining to oil and gas

13

operations, public health, safety, natural resources or the

14

environment.

15

(3)  A Federal judicial decision pertaining to oil and

16

gas operations, public health, safety, natural resources or

17

the environment.

18

(4)  A Commonwealth statute pertaining to oil and gas

19

operations, public health, safety, natural resources or the

20

environment. The term includes any of the following:

21

(i)  The act of June 22, 1937 (P.L.1987, No.394),

22

known as The Clean Streams Law.

23

(ii)  The act of January 8, 1960 (1959 P.L.2119,

24

No.787), known as the Air Pollution Control Act.

25

(iii)  The act of July 7, 1961 (P.L.518, No.268),

26

known as the Delaware River Basin Compact.

27

(iv)  The act of July 25, 1961 (P.L.825, No.359),

28

known as the Oil and Gas Conservation Law.

29

(v)  The act of July 17, 1968 (P.L.368, No.181),

30

referred to as the Susquehanna River Basin Compact Law.

- 23 -

 


1

(vi)  The act of October 4, 1978 (P.L.864, No.167),

2

known as the Storm Water Management Act.

3

(vii)  The act of November 26, 1978 (P.L.1375,

4

No.325), known as the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.

5

(viii)  The act of July 7, 1980 (P.L.380, No.97),

6

known as the Solid Waste Management Act.

7

(ix)  The act of June 23, 1982 (P.L.597, No.170),

8

known as the Wild Resource Conservation Act.

9

(x)  The act of May 1, 1984 (P.L.206, No.43), known

10

as the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act.

11

(xi)  The act of July 10, 1984 (P.L.688, No.147),

12

known as the Radiation Protection Act.

13

(xii)  The act of October 5, 1984 (P.L.734, No.159),

14

known as the Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act.

15

(xiii)  The act of December 18, 1984 (P.L.1069,

16

No.214), known as the Coal and Gas Resource Coordination

17

Act.

18

(xiv)  The act of December 19, 1984 (P.L.1093,

19

No.219), known as the Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation

20

and Reclamation Act.

21

(xv)  The act of October 18, 1988 (P.L.756, No.108),

22

known as the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act.

23

(xvi)  The act of July 6, 1989 (P.L.169, No.32),

24

known as the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act.

25

(xvii)  The act of December 7, 1990 (P.L.639,

26

No.165), known as the Hazardous Material Emergency

27

Planning and Response Act.

28

(xviii)  The act of May 19, 1995 (P.L.4, No.2), known

29

as the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation

30

Standards Act.

- 24 -

 


1

(xix)  The act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.526, No.43),

2

known as the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water

3

Resources Compact.

4

(xx)  The provisions of 27 Pa.C.S. Ch. 31 (relating

5

to water resources planning)

6

(xxi)  The provisions of 27 Pa.C.S. Ch. 41 (relating

7

to environmental laboratory accreditation).

8

(xxii)  The provisions of 27 Pa.C.S. Ch. 62 (relating

9

to waste transportation safety).

10

(xxiii)  The provisions of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to

11

fish).

12

(xxiv)  The provisions of 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to

13

game).

14

(5)  A regulation, rule, administrative order or agency

15

interpretation or guidance of a Commonwealth agency

16

pertaining to oil and gas operations, public health, safety,

17

natural resources or the environment.

18

(6)  A decision of a court of this Commonwealth

19

pertaining to oil and gas operations, public health, safety,

20

natural resources or the environment.

21

"Fresh groundwater."  Water in that portion of the generally

22

recognized hydrologic cycle which occupies the pore spaces and

23

fractures of saturated subsurface materials.

24

"Gas."  Any of the following:

25

(1)  A fluid, combustible or noncombustible, which is

26

produced in a natural state from the earth and maintains a

27

gaseous or rarified state at standard temperature of 60

28

degrees Fahrenheit and pressure 14.7 PSIA.

29

(2)  Any manufactured gas, byproduct gas or mixture of

30

gases.

- 25 -

 


1

"Inactivate."  To shut off the vertical movement of gas in a

2

gas storage well by means of a temporary plug or other suitable

3

device or by injecting bentonitic mud or other equally nonporous

4

material into the well.

5

"Linear foot."  A unit or measurement in a straight line on a

6

horizontal plane.

7

"Oil."  Hydrocarbons in liquid form at standard temperature

8

of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure 14.7 PSIA, also referred

9

to as petroleum.

10

"Oil and gas operations."  Any of the following:

11

(1)  Exploration for oil and gas. This paragraph includes

12

the conduct of seismic operations.

13

(2)  Siting and locating of oil and gas wells.

14

(3)  Drilling, stimulation and completion of oil and gas

15

wells.

16

(4)  Generation, processing, treatment, storage,

17

transportation and disposal of fresh water, wastewater,

18

wastes, chemicals and other materials directly associated

19

with drilling, stimulation and completion of oil and gas

20

wells.

21

(5)  Production, gathering and collection of oil or gas.

22

(6)  Compression, transmission, measurement and storage

23

of oil or gas.

24

(7)  Reclamation activities.

25

(8)  Construction and use of drilling rigs and pipelines.

26

This paragraph includes equipment directly related to the

27

activities set forth in this paragraph.

28

(9)  Construction and use of access roads, well sites,

29

drilling pads, impoundments, compression stations, processing

30

stations, meter stations and storage tanks. This paragraph

- 26 -

 


1

includes buildings, facilities or structures, which are

2

directly related to the activities set forth in this

3

paragraph. This paragraph does not include ancillary support,

4

supply and service facilities, the location of which is not

5

dependent on the location of specific wells or pipelines.

6

"Operating coal mine."  Any of the following:

7

(1)  An underground coal mine which is producing coal or

8

has been in production of coal at any time during the 12

9

months immediately preceding the date its status is put in

10

question, including contiguous worked-out or abandoned coal

11

mines to which it is connected underground.

12

(2)  An underground coal mine to be established or

13

reestablished under paragraph (1).

14

"Operating well."  A well that is not plugged and abandoned.

15

"Orphan well."  A well abandoned prior to April 18, 1985,

16

that has not been affected or operated by the present owner or

17

operator and from which the present owner, operator or lessee

18

has received no economic benefit other than as a landowner or

19

recipient of a royalty interest from the well.

20

"Outside coal boundaries."  When used in conjunction with the

21

term "operating coal mine," the boundaries of the coal acreage

22

assigned to the coal mine under an underground mine permit

23

issued by the Department of Environmental Protection.

24

"Owner."  A person who owns, manages, leases, controls or

25

possesses a well or coal property. The term does not apply to

26

orphan wells, except where the Department of Environmental

27

Protection determines a prior owner or operator benefited from

28

the well as provided in section 3220(a) (relating to plugging

29

requirements).

30

"Person."  An individual, association, partnership,

- 27 -

 


1

corporation, political subdivision or agency of the Federal

2

Government, State government or other legal entity.

3

"Petroleum."  Hydrocarbons in liquid form at standard

4

temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure 14.7 PSIA,

5

also referred to as oil.

6

"Pillar."  A solid block of coal surrounded by either active

7

mine workings or a mined-out area.

8

"Plat."  A map, drawing or print accurately drawn to scale

9

showing the proposed or existing location of a well or wells.

10

"Reservoir protective area."  The area surrounding a storage

11

reservoir boundary, but within 2,000 linear feet of the storage

12

reservoir boundary, unless an alternate area has been designated

13

by the Department of Environmental Protection, which is deemed

14

reasonably necessary to afford protection to the reservoir,

15

under a conference held in accordance with section 3251

16

(relating to conferences).

17

"Retreat mining."  Removal of coal pillars, ribs and stumps

18

remaining after development mining has been completed in that

19

section of a coal mine.

20

"Secretary."  The Secretary of Environmental Protection of

21

the Commonwealth.

22

"Storage operator."  A person who operates or proposes to

23

operate a storage reservoir as an owner or lessee.

24

"Storage reservoir."  That portion of a subsurface geological

25

stratum into which gas is or may be injected for storage

26

purposes or to test suitability of the stratum for storage.

27

"Unconventional well."  A bore hole drilled or being drilled

28

for the purpose of or to be used for producing oil or gas from a

29

geological shale formation existing below the base of the Elk

30

Sandstone or its geologic equivalent stratigraphic interval

- 28 -

 


1

where oil or gas generally cannot be produced at economic flow

2

rates or in economic volumes except by one of the following:

3

(1)  Vertical or horizontal well bores stimulated by

4

hydraulic fracture treatments.

5

(2)  Using multilateral well bores or other techniques to

6

expose more of the formation of the well bore.

7

"Water management plan."  A plan associated with drilling or

8

completing a well in an unconventional formation that

9

demonstrates that the withdrawal and use of water sources

10

protects those sources as required by law and protects public

11

health, safety and welfare.

12

"Water purveyor."  Any of the following:

13

(1)  The owner or operator of a public water system as

14

defined in section 3 of the act of May 1, 1984 (P.L.206,

15

No.43), known as the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act.

16

(2)  Any person subject to the act of June 24, 1939

17

(P.L.842, No.365), referred to as the Water Rights Law.

18

"Water source."

19

(1)  Any of the following:

20

(i)  Waters of this Commonwealth.

21

(ii)  A source of water supply used by a water

22

purveyor.

23

(iii)  Mine pools and discharges.

24

(iv)  Any other waters that are used for drilling or

25

completing a well in an unconventional formation.

26

(2)  The term does not include flowback or production

27

waters or other fluids:

28

(i)  which are used for drilling or completing a well

29

in an unconventional formation; and

30

(ii)  which do not discharge into waters of this

- 29 -

 


1

Commonwealth.

2

"Well."  A bore hole drilled or being drilled for the purpose

3

of, or to be used for, producing, extracting or injecting gas,

4

petroleum or another liquid related to oil or gas production or

5

storage, including brine disposal, but excluding a bore hole

6

drilled to produce potable water. The term does not include a

7

bore hole drilled or being drilled for the purpose of, or to be

8

used for:

9

(1)  Systems of monitoring, producing or extracting gas

10

from solid waste disposal facilities, if the bore hole is a

11

well subject to the act of July 7, 1980 (P.L.380, No.97),

12

known as the Solid Waste Management Act, which does not

13

penetrate a workable coal seam.

14

(2)  Degasifying coal seams, if the bore hole is:

15

(i)  used to vent methane to the outside atmosphere

16

from an operating coal mine; regulated as part of the

17

mining permit under the act of June 22, 1937 (P.L.1987,

18

No.394), known as The Clean Streams Law, and the act of

19

May 31, 1945 (P.L.1198, No.418), known as the Surface

20

Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act; and drilled by

21

the operator of the operating coal mine for the purpose

22

of increased safety; or

23

(ii)  used to vent methane to the outside atmosphere

24

under a federally funded or State-funded abandoned mine

25

reclamation project.

26

"Well control emergency."  An incident during drilling,

27

operation, workover or completion that, as determined by the

28

department, poses a threat to public health, welfare or safety,

29

including a loss of circulation fluids, kick, casing failure,

30

blowout, fire and explosion.

- 30 -

 


1

"Well control specialist."  Any person trained to respond to

2

a well control emergency with a current certification from a

3

well control course accredited by the International Association

4

of Drilling Contractors or other organization approved by the

5

department.

6

"Well operator" or "operator."  Any of the following:

7

(1)  The person designated as operator or well operator

8

on the permit application or well registration.

9

(2)  If a permit or well registration was not issued, a

10

person who locates, drills, operates, alters or plugs a well

11

or reconditions a well with the purpose of production from

12

the well.

13

(3)  If a well is used in connection with underground

14

storage of gas, a storage operator.

15

"Wetland."  Areas inundated or saturated by surface or

16

groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support,

17

and which normally support, a prevalence of vegetation typically

18

adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, including swamps,

19

marshes, bogs and similar areas.

20

"Workable coal seams."  A coal seam which:

21

(1)  is actually being mined in the area in question

22

under this chapter by underground methods; or

23

(2)  in the judgment of the Department of Environmental

24

Protection, can reasonably be expected to be mined by

25

underground methods.

26

SUBCHAPTER B

27

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

28

Sec.

29

3211.  Well permits.

30

3212.  Permit objections.

- 31 -

 


1

3212.1.  Comments by municipalities.

2

3213.  Well registration and identification.

3

3214.  Inactive status.

4

3215.  Well location restrictions.

5

3215.1.  General restrictions.

6

3216.  Well site restoration.

7

3217.  Protection of fresh groundwater and casing requirements.

8

3218.  Protection of water supplies.

9

3219.  Use of safety devices.

10

3219.1.  Well control emergency response.

11

3220.  Plugging requirements.

12

3221.  Alternative methods.

13

3222.  Well reporting requirements.

14

3223.  Notification and effect of well transfer.

15

3224.  Coal operator responsibilities.

16

3225.  Bonding.

17

3226.  Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board.

18

§ 3211.  Well permits.

19

(a)  Permit required.--No person shall drill or alter a well,

20

except for alterations which satisfy the requirements of

21

subsection (j), without having first obtained a well permit

22

under subsections (b), (c), (d) and (e), or operate an abandoned

23

or orphan well unless in compliance with subsection (l). A copy

24

of the permit shall be kept at the well site during drilling or

25

alteration of the well. No person shall be required to obtain a

26

permit to redrill a nonproducing well if the redrilling:

27

(1)  has been evaluated and approved as part of an order

28

from the department authorizing cleaning out and plugging or

29

replugging a nonproducing well under section 13(c) of the act

30

of December 18, 1984 (P.L.1069, No.214), known as the Coal

- 32 -

 


1

and Gas Resource Coordination Act; and

2

(2)  is incidental to a plugging or replugging operation

3

and the well is plugged within 15 days of redrilling.

4

(b)  Plat.--

5

(1)  The permit application shall be accompanied by a

6

plat prepared by a competent engineer or a competent

7

surveyor, on forms furnished by the department, showing the

8

political subdivision and county in which the tract of land

9

upon which the well to be drilled is located; a list of

10

municipalities adjacent to the well site; the name of the

11

surface landowner of record and lessor; the name of all

12

surface landowners and water purveyors whose water supplies

13

are within 1,000 feet of the proposed well location or, in

14

the case of an unconventional well, within 2,500 feet of the

15

proposed well location; the name of the owner of record or

16

operator of all known underlying workable coal seams; the

17

acreage in the tract to be drilled; the proposed location of

18

the well determined by survey, courses and distances of the

19

location from two or more permanent identifiable points or

20

landmarks on the tract boundary corners; the proposed angle

21

and direction of the well if the well is to be deviated

22

substantially from a vertical course; the number or other

23

identification to be given the well; the workable coal seams

24

underlying the tract of land upon which the well is to be

25

drilled or altered and which shall be cased off under section

26

3217 (relating to protection of fresh groundwater and casing

27

requirements); and any other information needed by the

28

department to administer this chapter.

29

(2)  The applicant shall forward by certified mail a copy

30

of the plat to the surface landowner; the municipality in

- 33 -

 


1

which the tract of land upon which the well to be drilled is

2

located; the municipalities adjacent to the well; all surface

3

landowners and water purveyors, whose water supplies are

4

within 1,000 feet of the proposed well location or, in the

5

case of an unconventional well, within 2,500 feet of the

6

proposed well location; the owner and lessee of any coal

7

seams; and each coal operator required to be identified on

8

the well permit application.

9

(b.1)  Notification.--The applicant shall submit proof of

10

notification with the well permit application. Notification of

11

surface owners shall be performed by sending notice to those

12

persons to whom the tax notices for the surface property are

13

sent, as indicated in the assessment books in the county in

14

which the property is located. Notification of surface

15

landowners or water purveyors whose water supplies are within

16

1,000 feet of the proposed well location shall be on forms, and

17

in a manner prescribed by the department, sufficient to identify

18

the rights afforded those persons under section 3218 (relating

19

to protection of water supplies) and to advise them of the

20

advantages of taking their own predrilling or prealteration

21

survey.

22

(b.2)  Approval.--If the applicant submits to the department

23

written approval of the proposed well location by the surface

24

landowner and the coal operator, lessee or owner of any coal

25

underlying the proposed well location and no objections are

26

raised by the department within 15 days of filing, or if no

27

approval has been submitted and no objections are made to the

28

proposed well location within 15 days from receipt of notice by

29

the department, the surface landowner or any coal operator,

30

lessee or owner, the written approval shall be filed and become

- 34 -

 


1

a permanent record of the well location, subject to inspection

2

at any time by any interested person.

3

(c)  Applicants.--If the applicant for a well permit is a

4

corporation, partnership or person that is not a resident of

5

this Commonwealth, the applicant shall designate the name and

6

address of an agent for the operator who shall be the attorney-

7

in-fact for the operator and who shall be a resident of this

8

Commonwealth upon whom notices, orders or other communications

9

issued under this chapter may be served and upon whom process

10

may be served. Each well operator required to designate an agent

11

under this section shall, within five days after termination of

12

the designation, notify the department of the termination and

13

designate a new agent.

14

(d)  Permit fee.--Each application for a well permit shall be

15

accompanied by a permit fee, established by regulation of the

16

department, which bears a reasonable relationship to the cost of

17

administering this chapter.

18

(e)  Issuance of permit.--The department shall issue a permit

19

within 45 days of submission of a permit application unless the

20

department denies the permit application for one or more of the

21

reasons set forth in subsection (e.1), except that the

22

department shall have the right to extend the period for 15 days

23

for cause shown upon notification to the applicant of the

24

reasons for the extension. The department may impose permit

25

terms and conditions necessary to assure compliance with this

26

chapter or other laws administered by the department.

27

(e.1)  Denial of permit.--The department may deny a permit

28

for any of the following reasons:

29

(1)  The well site for which a permit is requested is in

30

violation of any of this chapter or issuance of the permit

- 35 -

 


1

would result in a violation of this chapter or other

2

applicable law.

3

(2)  The permit application is incomplete.

4

(3)  Unresolved objections to the well location by coal

5

mine owner or operator remain.

6

(4)  The requirements of section 3225 (relating to

7

bonding) have not been met.

8

(5)  (i)  Either:

9

(A)  the department finds that the applicant, or

10

any parent or subsidiary corporation of the

11

applicant, is in continuing violation of this

12

subchapter, any other statute administered by the

13

department, any rule or regulation promulgated under

14

this subchapter or a statute administered by the

15

department or any plan approval, permit or order of

16

the department, unless the violation is being

17

corrected to the satisfaction of the department; or

18

(B)  the applicant, or any parent or subsidiary

19

corporation of the applicant, has shown a lack of

20

intention or ability to comply with the laws, rules,

21

regulations, approvals, permits or orders referred to

22

under clause (A).

23

(ii)  The right of the department to deny a permit

24

under subparagraph (i) shall not take effect until:

25

(A)  the department has taken a final action on

26

the violations;

27

(B)  (I)  the applicant has not appealed the

28

final action in accordance with the act of July

29

13, 1988 (P.L.530, No.94), known as the

30

Environmental Hearing Board Act; or

- 36 -

 


1

(II)  if an appeal has been filed, no

2

supersedeas has been issued.

3

(e.2)  Expedited review of applications.--

<--

4

(1)  The department may provide expedited reviews of

5

applications within time frames specified by the department

6

to applicants for permits and other approvals if the

7

applicant pays an additional fee determined by the department

8

based upon any incremental costs to the department associated

9

with the review. The reviews may be performed by persons

10

selected by the department who are not Commonwealth employees

11

if the department is the entity that takes action on the

12

application or by county conservation districts under an

13

agreement with the department.

14

(2)  The permits and approvals may be those issued by the

15

department under this act and for activities associated with

16

oil and gas activities under the following:

17

(i)  The act of June 22, 1937 (P.L.1987, No.394),

18

known as The Clean Streams Law.

19

(ii)  The act of January 8, 1960 (1959 P.L.2119,

20

No.787), known as the Air Pollution Control Act.

21

(iii)  The act of November 26, 1978 (P.L.1375,

22

No.325), known as the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.

23

(iv)  The act of July 7, 1980 (P.L.380, No.97), known

24

as the Solid Waste Management Act.

25

(v)  The act of May 1, 1984 (P.L.206, No.43), known

26

as the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act.

27

(vi)  The act of July 10, 1984 (P.L.688, No.147),

28

known as the Radiation Protection Act.

29

(vii)  The act of December 19, 1984 (P.L.1093,

30

No.219), known as the Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation

- 37 -

 


1

and Reclamation Act.

2

(viii)  The act of October 18, 1988 (P.L.756,

3

No.108), known as the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act.

4

(ix)  The act of July 6, 1989 (P.L.169, No.32), known

5

as the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act.

6

(3)  The department may implement this subsection by

7

policy or by regulation promulgated by the Environmental

8

Quality Board.

9

(4)  The department shall consider relevant factors in

10

administering this section, including:

11

(i)  Legal requirements under applicable Federal and

12

State laws and regulations, including requirements for

13

public comment, and review by the Environmental

14

Protection Agency.

15

(ii)  Administrative completeness of applications.

16

(iii)  Adjustment of fees over time based on changes

17

in program costs.

18

(iv)  Applications submitted under seal by a

19

professional engineer, professional geologist or other

20

person licensed by the Department of State.

21

(v)  Actual or potential impacts to Federal and State

22

threatened and endangered species.

23

(5)  This subsection shall not apply to permits or

24

approvals for activities that may impact:

25

(i)  A water that is classified as high quality or

26

exceptional value under 25 Pa. Code Ch. 93 (relating to

27

water quality standards).

28

(ii)  Exceptional value wetlands as determined under

29

25 Pa. Code Ch. 105 (relating to dam safety and waterway

30

management).

- 38 -

 


1

(iii)  Public water supplies.

2

(6)  Fees collected under this subsection shall be

3

deposited into the fund for which fees are otherwise

4

deposited for the applicable permit or approval.

<--

5

(f)  Drilling.--

6

(1)  Upon issuance of a permit, the well operator may

7

drill at the location shown on the plat after providing the

8

department, the surface landowner and the local political

9

subdivision in which the well is to be located 24 hours'

10

notice of the date that drilling will commence.

11

(2)  The unconventional well operator shall provide the

12

department 24 hours' notice prior to cementing all casing

13

strings, conducting pressure tests of the production casing,

14

stimulation and abandoning or plugging an unconventional

15

well.

16

(3)  In noncoal areas where more than one well is to be

17

drilled as part of the same development project, only the

18

first well of the project need be located by survey.

19

Remaining wells of the project shall be shown on the plat in

20

a manner prescribed by regulation.

21

(4)  Prior to drilling each additional project well, the

22

well operator shall notify the department and provide

23

reasonable notice of the date on which drilling will

24

commence.

25

(5)  Whenever, before or during the drilling of a well

26

not within the boundaries of an operating coal mine, the well

27

operator encounters conditions of a nature which renders

28

drilling of the bore hole or a portion thereof impossible, or

29

more hazardous than usual, the well operator, upon verbal

30

notice to the department, may immediately plug all or part of

- 39 -

 


1

the bore hole, if drilling has occurred, and commence a new

2

bore hole not more than 50 feet from the old bore hole if the

3

location of the new bore hole does not violate section 3215

4

(relating to well location restrictions) and, in the case of

5

a well subject to act of July 25, 1961 (P.L.825, No.359),

6

known as the Oil and Gas Conservation Law, if the new

7

location complies with existing laws, regulations and spacing

8

orders and the new bore hole is at least 330 feet from the

9

nearest lease boundary.

10

(6)  Within ten days of commencement of the new bore

11

hole, the well operator shall file with the department a

12

written notice of intention to plug, a well record, a

13

completion report, a plugging certificate for the original

14

bore hole and an amended plat for the new bore hole.

15

(7)  The well operator shall forward a copy of the

16

amended plat to the surface landowner identified on the well

17

permit application within ten days of commencement of the new

18

well bore.

19

(g)  Posting.--The well permit number and operator's name,

20

address and telephone number shall be conspicuously posted at

21

the drilling site prior to commencement of drilling.

22

(h)  Labeling.--The well operator shall install the permit

23

number issued by the department in a legible, visible and

24

permanent manner on the well upon completion.

25

(i)  Expiration.--Well permits issued for drilling wells

26

under this chapter shall expire one year after issuance unless

27

operations for drilling the well are commenced within the period

28

and pursued with due diligence or unless the permit is renewed

29

in accordance with regulations of the department. If drilling is

30

commenced during the one-year period, the well permit shall

- 40 -

 


1

remain in force until the well is plugged in accordance with

2

section 3220 (relating to plugging requirements) or the permit

3

is revoked. A drilling permit issued prior to April 18, 1985,

4

for a well which is an operating well on April 18, 1985, shall

5

remain in force as a well permit until the well is plugged in

6

accordance with section 3220. Nothing in this subsection shall

7

be construed to rescind the provisions pertaining to drilling

8

permits contained in Chapter 34.

9

(j)  Exceptions.--The Environmental Quality Board may

10

establish by regulation certain categories of alterations of

11

permitted or registered wells for which permitting requirements

12

of this section shall not apply. A well operator or owner who

13

proposes to conduct the alteration activity shall first obtain a

14

permit or registration modification from the department. The

15

Environmental Quality Board shall promulgate regulations as to

16

the requirements for modifications.

17

(k)  No transfer permitted.--No permit issued under this

18

section or registration issued under section 3213 (relating to

19

well registration and identification) may be transferred without

20

prior approval of the department. A request for approval of a

21

transfer shall be on the forms, and in the manner, prescribed by

22

the department. The department shall approve or deny a transfer

23

request within 45 days of receipt of a complete and accurate

24

application. The department may deny a request only for reasons

25

set forth in subsection (e.1)(4) and (5). Approval of a transfer

26

request shall permanently transfer responsibility to plug the

27

well under section 3220 to the recipient of the transferred

28

permit or registration.

29

(l)  Regulations.--The Environmental Quality Board may

30

establish by regulation requirements for the permitting and

- 41 -

 


1

operation of abandoned or orphan wells. A person who proposes to

2

conduct abandoned or orphan well operations shall first obtain a

3

permit to operate an abandoned or orphan well.

4

(m)  Water management.--The following shall apply to water

5

management:

6

(1)  No person may withdraw or use water from water

7

sources within this Commonwealth for the drilling or

8

hydraulic fracture stimulation of any natural gas well

9

completed in an unconventional gas formation, whether on or

10

off of the land where the gas well is located, except in

11

accordance with a water management plan approved by the

12

department.

13

(2)  The department shall review and approve water

14

management plans based upon a determination that the proposed

15

withdrawal, when operated in accordance with the proposed

16

withdrawal operating conditions set forth in the plan,

17

including conditions relating to quantity, withdrawal rate

18

and timing and any passby flow conditions, will:

19

(i)  not adversely affect the quantity or quality of

20

water available to other users of the same water sources;

21

(ii)  protect and maintain the designated and

22

existing uses of water sources; and

23

(iii)  not cause adverse impact to water quality in

24

the watershed considered as a whole.

25

(3)  (i)  The criteria under paragraph (2) shall be

26

presumed to be achieved if the proposed water withdrawal

27

has been approved by and is operated in accordance with

28

conditions established by the Susquehanna River Basin

29

Commission, the Delaware River Basin Commission or the

30

Great Lakes Commission, as applicable.

- 42 -

 


1

(ii)  Notwithstanding subparagraph (i), the

2

department may establish additional requirements as

3

necessary to comply with the laws of this Commonwealth.

4

(4)  In addition to the requirements under paragraphs

5

(1), (2) and (3), compliance with a department-approved water

6

management plan shall be a condition of any permit issued

7

under this chapter for the drilling or hydraulic fracture

8

stimulation of any natural gas well completed in an

9

unconventional formation and shall be deemed to satisfy the

10

laws of this Commonwealth.

11

§ 3212.  Permit objections.

12

(a)  General rule.--If a well referred to in section 3211(b)

13

(relating to well permits) will be located on a tract whose

14

surface is owned by a person other than the well operator, the

15

surface landowner affected shall be notified of the intent to

16

drill and may file objections, in accordance with section 3251

17

(relating to conferences), based on the assertion that the well

18

location violates section 3215 (relating to well location

19

restrictions) or that information in the application is untrue

20

in any material respect, within 15 days of the receipt by the

21

surface owner of the plat under section 3211(b). Receipt of

22

notice by the surface owner shall be presumed to have occurred

23

15 days from the date of the certified mailing when the well

24

operator submits a copy of the certified mail receipt sent to

25

the surface owner and an affidavit certifying that the address

26

of the surface owner to which notice was sent is the same as the

27

address listed in the assessment books in the county where the

28

property is located. If no objection is filed or none is raised

29

by the department within 15 days after receipt of the plat by

30

the surface landowner, or, if written approval by the surface

- 43 -

 


1

landowner is filed with the department and no objection is

2

raised by the department within 15 days of filing, the

3

department shall proceed to issue or deny the permit.

4

(b)  Special circumstances.--If a well referred to in section

5

3211(b) will penetrate within the outside coal boundaries of an

6

operating coal mine or a coal mine already projected and platted

7

but not yet being operated, or within 1,000 linear feet beyond

8

those boundaries, and, in the opinion of the coal owner or

9

operator, the well or a pillar of coal about the well will

10

unduly interfere with or endanger the mine, the coal owner or

11

operator affected may file objections under section 3251 to the

12

proposed location within 15 days of the receipt by the coal

13

operator of the plat under section 3211(b). If possible, an

14

alternative location at which the proposed well could be drilled

15

to overcome the objections shall be indicated. If no objection

16

to the proposed location is filed or if none is raised by the

17

department within 15 days after receipt of the plat by the coal

18

operator or owner, or, if written approval by the coal operator

19

or owner of the location is filed with the department and no

20

objection is raised by the department within 15 days of filing,

21

the department shall proceed to issue or deny the permit.

22

(c)  Procedure upon objection.--If an objection is filed by a

23

coal operator or owner or made by the department, the department

24

shall fix a time and place for a conference under section 3251

25

not more than ten days from the date of service of the objection

26

to allow the parties to consider the objection and attempt to

27

agree on a location. If they fail to agree, the department, by

28

an appropriate order, shall determine a location on the tract of

29

land as near to the original location as possible where, in the

30

judgment of the department, the well can be safely drilled

- 44 -

 


1

without unduly interfering with or endangering the mine as

2

defined in subsection (b). The new location agreed upon by the

3

parties or determined by the department shall be indicated on

4

the plat on file with the department and become a permanent

5

record upon which the department shall proceed to issue or deny

6

the permit.

7

(d)  Survey.--Within 120 days after commencement of drilling

8

operations, the coal operator shall accurately locate the well

9

by a closed survey on the same datum as the mine workings or

10

coal boundaries are mapped, file the results of the survey with

11

the department and forward a copy by certified mail to the well

12

operator.

13

§ 3212.1.  Comments by municipalities.

14

(a)  General rule.--The municipality where the tract of land

15

upon which the unconventional well to be drilled is located may

16

submit written comments to the department describing local

17

conditions or circumstances which the municipality has

18

determined should be considered by the department in rendering

19

its determination on the unconventional well permit. A comment

20

under this subsection must be submitted to the department within

21

15 days of the receipt of the plat under section 3211(b)

22

(relating to well permits). The municipality shall

23

simultaneously forward a copy of its comments to the permit

24

applicant and all other parties entitled to a copy of the plat

25

under section 3211(b), who may submit a written response. A

26

written response must be submitted to the department within ten

27

days of receipt of the comments of the municipality.

28

(b)  Consideration by department.--Comments and responses

29

under subsection (a) may be considered by the department in

30

accordance with section 3215(d) (relating to well location

- 45 -

 


1

restrictions).

2

(c)  No extension of time period.--The process outlined in

3

this section shall not extend the time period for the issuance

4

or denial of a permit beyond the time period set forth in this

5

chapter.

6

§ 3213.  Well registration and identification.

7

(a)  General rule.--On or before July 5, 1996, each person

8

who owned or operated a well in existence prior to April 18,

9

1985, which has not been registered with the department and for

10

which no drilling permit has been issued by the department,

11

shall register the well with the department. A well owner or

12

operator who registers under this subsection and a well owner or

13

operator who has previously registered a well under this chapter

14

shall, on or before July 5, 1996, identify any abandoned well on

15

property which the well owner or operator owns or leases and

16

request approval from the department for classification of the

17

well as an orphan well. Information regarding wells to be

18

registered or identified shall be provided on a form, or in a

19

manner, prescribed by the department, and shall include:

20

(1)  The name and address of the well operator and, if

21

the well operator is a corporation, partnership or person

22

nonresident of this Commonwealth, the name and address of an

23

agent for the operator upon whom notices, orders, process or

24

other communications issued under this chapter may be served.

25

(2)  The well name and the location of the well indicated

26

by a point on a 7 1/2 minute United States Geological Survey

27

topographic map or any other location description sufficient

28

to enable the department to locate the well on the ground.

29

(3)  The approximate date of drilling and completing the

30

well, its approximate depth and producing horizons, well

- 46 -

 


1

construction information and, if available, driller's logs.

2

(4)  An indemnity bond, an alternative fee in lieu of

3

bonding or other evidence of financial security submitted by

4

the well operator and deemed appropriate by the department

5

and satisfying the requirements of section 3225 (relating to

6

bonding). No bond, alternative fee or other evidence of

7

financial security shall be required for identification of an

8

orphan well. For wells drilled prior to January 30, 1956,

9

which have not been bonded, the well operator shall have five

10

years to comply with the provisions of this paragraph.

11

(5)  A registration fee of $15 per well or blanket

12

registration fee of $250 for multiple well registration

13

applications submitted simultaneously. The registration fee

14

shall be waived until July 5, 1996, and no fee shall be

15

charged for identification of an orphan well.

16

(a.1)  Orphan wells.--After July 5, 1996, a well owner, well

17

operator or other person discovering an abandoned well on

18

property purchased or leased by the well owner, well operator or

19

other person shall identify it to the department within 60 days

20

of discovery and advise the department that he is seeking

21

classification of the well as an orphan well. No fee shall be

22

required for identification.

23

(b)  Extension.--The department may extend the one-year time

24

period under subsection (a) for good cause shown. The extension

25

may not exceed a period ending two years from April 18, 1985.

26

The department may adopt and promulgate guidelines designed to

27

ensure a fair implementation of this section, recognizing the

28

practical difficulties of locating unpermitted wells and

29

complying with the reporting requirements of this chapter.

30

(c)  Installation of registration number.--The well operator

- 47 -

 


1

shall install the registration number issued by the department

2

in a legible, conspicuous and permanent manner on the well

3

within 60 days of issuance.

4

(d)  Definition.--For purposes of subsection (a)(4) and (5),

5

the term "owner" does not include an owner or possessor of

6

surface real property, on which an abandoned well is located,

7

who did not participate or incur costs in, and had no right of

8

control over, the drilling or extraction operation of the

9

abandoned well.

10

§ 3214.  Inactive status.

11

(a)  General rule.--Upon application, the department shall

12

grant inactive status for a period of five years for a permitted

13

or registered well, if the following requirements are met:

14

(1)  the condition of the well is sufficient to prevent

15

damage to the producing zone or contamination of fresh water

16

or other natural resources or surface leakage of any

17

substance;

18

(2)  the condition of the well is sufficient to stop the

19

vertical flow of fluids or gas within the well bore and is

20

adequate to protect freshwater aquifers, unless the

21

department determines the well poses a threat to the health

22

and safety of persons or property or to the environment;

23

(3)  the operator anticipates construction of a pipeline

24

or future use of the well for primary or enhanced recovery,

25

gas storage, approved disposal or other appropriate uses

26

related to oil and gas well production; and

27

(4)  the applicant satisfies the bonding requirements of

28

sections 3213 (relating to well registration and

29

identification) and 3225 (relating to bonding), except that

30

the department may require additional financial security for

- 48 -

 


1

a well on which an alternative fee is being paid in lieu of

2

bonding under section 3225(d).

3

(b)  Monitoring.--The owner or operator of a well granted

4

inactive status shall be responsible for monitoring the

5

mechanical integrity of the well to ensure that the requirements

6

of subsection (a)(1) and (2) are met and shall report the same

7

on an annual basis to the department in the manner and form

8

prescribed by departmental regulations.

9

(c)  (Reserved).

10

(d)  Return to active status.--A well granted inactive status

11

under subsection (a) shall be plugged in accordance with section

12

3220 (relating to plugging requirements) or returned to active

13

status within five years of the date inactive status was

14

granted, unless the owner or operator applies for an extension

15

of inactive status which may be granted on a year-to-year basis

16

if the department determines that the owner or operator has

17

demonstrated ability to continue meeting the requirements of

18

this section and the owner or operator certifies that the well

19

will be of future use within a reasonable period of time. An

20

owner or operator who has been granted inactive status for a

21

well which is returned to active status prior to expiration of

22

the five-year period set forth in subsection (a) shall notify

23

the department that the well has been returned to active status

24

and shall not be permitted to apply for another automatic five-

25

year period of inactive status for the well. The owner or

26

operator may make application to return the well to inactive

27

status, and the application may be approved on a year-to-year

28

basis if the department determines that the owner or operator

29

has demonstrated an ability to continue meeting the requirements

30

of this section and the owner or operator certifies that the

- 49 -

 


1

well will be of future use within a reasonable period of time.

2

The department shall approve or deny an application to extend a

3

period of inactive status or to return a well to inactive status

4

within 60 days of receipt of the application, and the

5

application shall not be unreasonably denied. If the department

6

has not completed its review of the application within 60 days,

7

the inactive status shall continue until the department has made

8

a determination on the request. If the department denies an

9

application to extend the period of inactive status or to return

10

a well to inactive status, a well owner or operator aggrieved by

11

the denial shall have the right to appeal the denial to the

12

Environmental Hearing Board within 30 days of receipt of the

13

denial. Upon cause shown by a well owner or operator, the board

14

may grant a supersedeas under section 4 of the act of July 13,

15

1988 (P.L.530, No.94), known as the Environmental Hearing Board

16

Act, so that the well in question may retain inactive status

17

during the period of the appeal.

18

(e)  Revocation of inactive status.--The department may

19

revoke inactive status and order immediate plugging of a well if

20

the well is in violation of this chapter or rules or regulations

21

promulgated under this chapter or if the owner or operator

22

demonstrates inability to perform obligations under this chapter

23

or becomes financially insolvent, or upon receipt by the

24

department of notice of bankruptcy proceedings by the permittee.

25

§ 3215.  Well location restrictions.

26

(a)  General rule.--Wells may not be drilled within 200 feet,

27

or, in the case of an unconventional well, 500 feet measured

28

horizontally from any existing building or existing water well

29

without written consent of the owner of the building or water

30

well. Unconventional wells may not be drilled within 1,000 feet

- 50 -

 


1

measured horizontally from any existing water well, surface

2

water intake, reservoir or other source used by a water

3

purveyor. If the distance restriction would deprive the owner of

4

the oil and gas rights of the right to produce or share in the

5

oil or gas underlying the surface tract, the well operator may

6

be granted a variance from the distance restriction upon

7

submission of a plan identifying the additional measures,

8

facilities or practices to be employed during well site

9

construction, drilling and operations. The variance, if granted,

10

shall include additional terms and conditions required by the

11

department to ensure safety and protection of affected persons

12

and property, including insurance, bonding, indemnification and

13

technical requirements.

14

(b)  Limitation.--No well site may be prepared or well

15

drilled within 100 feet, or, in the case of an unconventional

16

well, 300 feet measured horizontally from a stream, spring or

17

body of water as identified on the most current 7 1/2 minute

18

topographic quadrangle map of the United States Geological

19

Survey or within 100 feet, or, in the case of an unconventional

20

well, 300 feet of any wetlands greater than one acre in size.

21

The department may waive the distance restrictions upon

22

submission of a plan identifying additional measures, facilities

23

or practices to be employed during well site construction,

24

drilling and operations. The waiver, if granted, shall impose

25

permit conditions necessary to protect the waters of the

26

Commonwealth.

27

(c)  Impact.--On making a determination on a well permit, the

28

department shall consider impact of the proposed well on public

29

resources, including, but not limited to:

30

(1)  Publicly owned parks, forests, game lands and

- 51 -

 


1

wildlife areas.

2

(2)  National or State scenic rivers.

3

(3)  National natural landmarks.

4

(4)  Habitats of rare and endangered flora and fauna and

5

other critical communities.

6

(5)  Historical and archaeological sites listed on the

7

Federal or State list of historic places.

8

(d)  Consideration of municipality comments.--The department

9

may consider the comments submitted under section 3212.1

10

(relating to comments by municipalities) in making a

11

determination on a well permit. Notwithstanding any other law,

12

no municipality shall have a right of appeal or other form of

13

review from the department's decision.

14

(e)  Public resources impact criteria.--The Environmental

15

Quality Board may develop by regulation criteria for the

16

department to utilize for conditioning a well permit based on

17

its impact to the public resources identified under subsection

18

(c).

19

(f)  Floodplains.--

20

(1)  No well site may be prepared or well drilled within

21

any floodplain if the well site will have:

22

(i)  a pit or impoundment containing drilling

23

cuttings, flowback water, produced water or hazardous

24

materials, chemicals or wastes within the floodplain; or

25

(ii)  a tank containing hazardous materials,

26

chemicals, condensate, wastes, flowback or produced water

27

within the floodway.

28

(2)  A well site shall not be eligible for a floodplain

29

restriction waiver if the well site will have a tank

30

containing condensate, flowback or produced water within the

- 52 -

 


1

flood fringe unless all the tanks have adequate floodproofing

2

in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program

3

standards and accepted engineering practices.

4

(3)  The department may waive restrictions upon

5

submission of a plan that shall identify the additional

6

measures, facilities or practices to be employed during well

7

site construction, drilling and operations. The waiver, if

8

granted, shall impose permit conditions necessary to protect

9

the waters of this Commonwealth.

10

(4)  Best practices to ensure the protection of the

11

waters of this Commonwealth must be utilized for the storage

12

and handling of all water, chemicals, fuels, hazardous

13

materials or solid waste on a well site located in a

14

floodplain. The department may request that the well site

15

operator submit a plan for the storage and handling of

16

materials for approval by the department and may impose

17

conditions or amend permits to include permit conditions as

18

are necessary to protect the environment, public health and

19

safety.

20

(5)  Unless otherwise specified by the department, the

21

boundary of the floodplain shall be as indicated on maps and

22

flood insurance studies provided by the Federal Emergency

23

Management Agency. In an area where no Federal Emergency

24

Management Agency maps or studies have defined the boundary

25

of the 100-year frequency floodplain, absent evidence to the

26

contrary, the floodplain shall extend from:

27

(i)  any perennial stream up to 100 feet horizontally

28

from the top of the bank of the perennial stream; or

29

(ii)  from any intermittent stream up to 50 feet

30

horizontally from the top of the bank of the intermittent

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1

stream.

2

§ 3215.1.  General restrictions.

3

(a)  Security fencing.--Security fencing shall be installed

4

at the oil or gas well site to secure all permanent buildings,

5

facilities, structures and equipment at the site and to protect

6

the public. Warning signs shall be placed on the security

7

fencing providing notice of potential dangers and providing

8

contact information in case of an emergency.

9

(b)  Temporary operations.--The following shall apply to

10

temporary operations:

11

(1)  Except as provided under subsection (a) and

12

paragraph (2), temporary security fencing shall be installed

13

at the oil or gas well site to secure all buildings,

14

facilities, structures and equipment at the site and to

15

protect the public. Warning signs shall be placed at the well

16

site providing notice of potential dangers and providing

17

contact information in case of an emergency.

18

(2)  In lieu of security fencing under paragraph (1), a

19

well owner or operator may establish a guard station with 24

20

hour staffing at the entrance of the site to prevent

21

unauthorized access.

22

(c)  Lighting.--Lighting at the well site and at other

23

buildings, facilities and structures directly related to oil and

24

gas operations, either temporary or permanent, shall be directed

25

downward and inward toward the activity, to the extent

26

practicable, so as to minimize the glare on public roads and

27

nearby buildings within 100 feet of the well site, building,

28

facility or structure.

29

(d)  Noise regulations.--Well owners and operators shall

30

comply with all applicable noise regulations promulgated by the

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1

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, except that the noise

2

level from permanent oil and gas operations may not exceed 60

3

dBA at the nearest property line of the tract of land upon which

4

oil and gas operations are being conducted.

5

(e)  Atmospheric discharge.--Well owners and operators shall

6

comply with each applicable environmental law governing the

7

discharge of gases, vapors and odors into the atmosphere. The

8

discharge of gases, vapors and odors during oil and gas

9

operations may not unreasonably interfere with the comfortable

10

enjoyment of life or property.

11

§ 3216.  Well site restoration.

12

(a)  General rule.--Each oil or gas well owner or operator

13

shall restore the land surface within the area disturbed in

14

siting, drilling, completing and producing the well.

15

(b)  Plan.--During and after earthmoving or soil disturbing

16

activities, including, but not limited to, activities related to

17

siting, drilling, completing, producing and plugging the well,

18

erosion and sedimentation control measures shall be implemented

19

in accordance with an erosion and sedimentation control plan

20

prepared in accordance with the act of June 22, 1937 (P.L.1987,

21

No.394), known as The Clean Streams Law.

22

(c)  Pits, drilling supplies and equipment.--Within nine

23

months after completion of drilling of a well, the owner or

24

operator shall restore the well site, remove or fill all pits

25

used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove

26

all drilling supplies and equipment not needed for production.

27

Drilling supplies and equipment not needed for production may be

28

stored on the well site if express written consent of the

29

surface landowner is obtained.

30

(d)  Items related to production or storage.--Within nine

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1

months after plugging a well, the owner or operator shall remove

2

all production or storage facilities, supplies and equipment and

3

restore the well site.

4

(e)  Clean Streams Law.--Restoration activities required by

5

this chapter or in regulations promulgated under this chapter

6

shall also comply with all applicable provisions of The Clean

7

Streams Law.

8

(f)  Violation of chapter.--Failure to restore the well site

9

as required in this chapter or regulations promulgated under

10

this chapter constitutes a violation of this chapter.

11

(g)  Extension.--

12

(1)  The restoration period may be extended by the

13

department for an additional period of time not to exceed two

14

years upon demonstration by the well owner or operator that:

15

(i)  the extension will result in less earth

16

disturbance, increased water reuse or more efficient

17

development of the resources; or

18

(ii)  site restoration cannot be achieved due to

19

adverse weather conditions or a lack of essential fuel,

20

equipment or labor.

21

(2)  The demonstration under paragraph (1) shall do all

22

of the following:

23

(i)  Include a site restoration plan that shall

24

provide for:

25

(A)  the timely removal or fill of all pits used

26

to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes;

27

(B)  the removal of all drilling supplies and

28

equipment not needed for production;

29

(C)  the stabilization of the well site that

30

shall include interim postconstruction storm water

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1

management best management practices; or

2

(D)  other measures to be employed to minimize

3

accelerated erosion and sedimentation in accordance

4

with The Clean Streams Law.

5

(ii)  Provide for returning the portions of the site

6

not occupied by production facilities or equipment to

7

approximate original contours and making them capable of

8

supporting the uses that existed prior to drilling the

9

well.

10

(3)  The department may condition an extension under this

11

subsection as is necessary in accordance with The Clean

12

Streams Law.

13

§ 3217.  Protection of fresh groundwater and casing

14

requirements.

15

(a)  General rule.--To aid in protection of fresh

16

groundwater, well operators shall control and dispose of brines

17

produced from the drilling, alteration or operation of an oil or

18

gas well in a manner consistent with the act of June 22, 1937

19

(P.L.1987, No.394), known as The Clean Streams Law, or any rule

20

or regulation promulgated under The Clean Streams Law.

21

(b)  Casing.--To prevent migration of gas or fluids into

22

sources of fresh groundwater and pollution or diminution of

23

fresh groundwater, a string or strings of casing shall be run

24

and permanently cemented in each well drilled through the fresh

25

water-bearing strata to a depth and in a manner prescribed by

26

regulation by the department.

27

(c)  Procedure when coal has been removed.--If a well is

28

drilled at a location where coal has been removed from one or

29

more coal seams, the well shall be drilled and cased to prevent

30

migration of gas or fluids into the seam from which coal has

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1

been removed in a manner prescribed by regulation of the

2

department. The department and the coal operator, owner or

3

lessee shall be given at least 72 hours' notice prior to

4

commencement of work protecting the mine.

5

(d)  Procedure when coal has not been removed.--If a well is

6

drilled at a location where the coal seam has not been removed,

7

the well shall be drilled to a depth and of a size sufficient to

8

permit placement of casing, packers in and vents on the hole at

9

the points and in the manner prescribed by regulation to exclude

10

gas or fluids from the coal seam, except gas or fluids found

11

naturally in the seam itself, and to enable monitoring the

12

integrity of the production casing.

13

§ 3218.  Protection of water supplies.

14

(a)  General rule.--A well operator who affects a public or

15

private water supply by pollution or diminution shall restore or

16

replace the affected supply with an alternate source of water

17

adequate in quantity or quality for the purposes served by the

18

supply.

19

(b)  Pollution or diminution of water supply.--A landowner or

20

water purveyor suffering pollution or diminution of a water

21

supply as a result of the drilling, alteration or operation of

22

an oil or gas well may so notify the department and request that

23

an investigation be conducted. Within ten days of notification,

24

the department shall investigate the claim and make a

25

determination within 45 days following notification. If the

26

department finds that the pollution or diminution was caused by

27

drilling, alteration or operation activities or if it presumes

28

the well operator responsible for pollution under subsection

29

(c), the department shall issue orders to the well operator

30

necessary to assure compliance with subsection (a), including

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1

orders requiring temporary replacement of a water supply where

2

it is determined that pollution or diminution may be of limited

3

duration.

4

(c)  Presumption.--Unless rebutted by a defense established

5

in subsection (d), it shall be presumed that a well operator is

6

responsible for pollution of a water supply if:

7

(1)  except as set forth in paragraph (2):

8

(i)  the water supply is within 1,000 feet of an oil

9

or gas well; and

10

(ii)  the pollution occurred within six months after

11

completion of drilling or alteration of the oil or gas

12

well; or

13

(2)  in the case of an unconventional well:

14

(i)  the water supply is within 2,500 feet of the

15

unconventional well; and

16

(ii)  the pollution occurred within 12 months of the

17

later of completion, drilling or alteration of the

18

unconventional well.

19

(d)  Defenses.--To rebut the presumption established under

20

subsection (c), a well operator must affirmatively prove any of

21

the following:

22

(1)  The pollution existed prior to the drilling or

<--

23

alteration activity as determined by a predrilling or

24

prealteration survey.

25

(2)  The landowner or water purveyor refused to allow the

26

operator access to conduct a predrilling or prealteration

27

survey.

28

(3)  The water supply is not within 1,000 feet of the

29

well.

30

(4)  The pollution occurred more than six months after

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1

completion of drilling or alteration activities.

2

(5)  The pollution occurred as the result of a cause

3

other than the drilling or alteration activity.

4

(e)  Independent certified laboratory.--An operator electing

5

to preserve a defense under subsection (d)(1) or (2) shall

6

retain an independent certified laboratory to conduct a

7

predrilling or prealteration survey of the water supply. A copy

8

of survey results shall be submitted to the department and the

9

landowner or water purveyor in the manner prescribed by the

10

department.

<--

11

(f)  Other remedies preserved.--Nothing in this section shall

12

prevent a landowner or water purveyor claiming pollution or

13

diminution of a water supply from seeking any other remedy at

14

law or in equity.

15

§ 3219.  Use of safety devices.

16

Any person engaged in drilling an oil or gas well shall equip

17

it with casings of sufficient strength, and other safety devices

18

as are necessary, in the manner prescribed by regulation of the

19

department, and shall use every effort and endeavor effectively

20

to prevent blowouts, explosions and fires.

21

§ 3219.1.  Well control emergency response.

22

(a)  Contracts.--The department may enter into contracts with

23

well control specialists in order to provide adequate emergency

24

response services in the event of a well control emergency.

25

(b)  Civil immunity.--Except as set forth in subsection (c),

26

a well control specialist with which the department has entered

27

into a contract under subsection (a) shall be immune from civil

28

liability for actions taken in good faith to carry out its

29

contractual obligations.

30

(c)  Nonapplicability.--Subsection (b) shall not apply to

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1

damage arising from any of the following:

2

(1)  Breach of the contract under subsection (a).

3

(2)  An intentional tort.

4

(3)  Gross negligence.

5

§ 3220.  Plugging requirements.

6

(a)  General rule.--Upon abandoning a well, the owner or

7

operator shall plug it in the manner prescribed by regulation of

8

the department to stop vertical flow of fluids or gas within the

9

well bore, unless the department has granted inactive status for

10

the well or it has been approved by the department as an orphan

11

well. If the department determines that a prior owner or

12

operator received economic benefit, other than economic benefit

13

derived only as a landowner or from a royalty interest, after

14

April 18, 1979, from an orphan well or an unregistered well, the

15

owner or operator shall be responsible for plugging the well. In

16

the case of a gas well penetrating a workable coal seam which

17

was drilled prior to January 30, 1956, or which was permitted

18

after that date but not plugged in accordance with this chapter,

19

if the owner or operator or a coal operator or an agent proposes

20

to plug the well to allow mining through it, the gas well shall

21

be cleaned to a depth of at least 200 feet below the coal seam

22

through which mining is proposed and, unless impracticable, to a

23

point 200 feet below the deepest mineable coal seam. The gas

24

well shall be plugged from that depth in accordance with section

25

13 of the act of December 18, 1984 (P.L.1069, No.214), known as

26

the Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act, and the regulations

27

of the department.

28

(b)  Areas underlain by coal.--Prior to the plugging and

29

abandonment of a well in an area underlain by a workable coal

30

seam, the well operator or owner shall notify the department and

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1

the coal operator, lessee or owner and submit a plat, on a form

2

to be furnished by the department, showing the location of the

3

well and fixing the date and time plugging will commence, which

4

shall be not less than three working days, nor more than 30

5

days, after the notice is received, to permit representatives of

6

the persons notified to be present at the plugging. Notice and

7

the right to be present may be waived by the department and the

8

coal operator, lessee or owner, but waiver by the coal operator,

9

lessee or owner shall be in writing and a copy shall be attached

10

to the notice of abandonment filed with the department under

11

this section. Whether or not representatives attend, if the well

12

operator has fully complied with this section, the well operator

13

may proceed, at the time fixed, to plug the well in the manner

14

prescribed by regulation of the department. When plugging has

15

been completed, a certificate shall be prepared and signed, on a

16

form to be furnished by the department, by two experienced and

17

qualified people who participated in the work setting forth the

18

time and manner in which the well was plugged. One copy of the

19

certificate shall be mailed to each coal operator, lessee or

20

owner to whom notice was given by certified mail and another

21

shall be mailed to the department.

22

(c)  Abandoned wells.--Prior to abandonment of a well, except

23

an uncompleted bore hole plugged immediately upon suspension of

24

drilling in an area not underlain by a workable coal seam, the

25

well operator shall notify the department of the intention to

26

plug and abandon the well and submit a plat, on a form to be

27

furnished by the department, showing the location of the well

28

and fixing the date and time at which plugging will commence,

29

which shall be not less than three working days, nor more than

30

30 days, after the notice is received, to permit a department

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1

representative to be present at the plugging. The notice or

2

waiting period may be verbally waived by the department. In

3

noncoal areas where more than one well has been drilled as part

4

of the same development project and the wells are now to be

5

plugged, the department shall be given three working days'

6

notice prior to plugging the first well of the project, subject

7

to waiver of notice described in subsection (b). In the plugging

8

of subsequent wells, no additional notice shall be required if

9

plugging on the project is continuous. If plugging of subsequent

10

wells is delayed for any reason, notice shall be given to the

11

department of continuation of the project. Whether or not a

12

representative attends, if the well operator has fully complied

13

with this section, the well operator may proceed, at the time

14

fixed, to plug the well in the manner prescribed by regulation

15

of the department. When plugging has been completed, a

16

certificate shall be prepared, on a form to be furnished by the

17

department, by two experienced and qualified people who

18

participated in the work setting forth the time and manner in

19

which the well was plugged. A copy of the certificate shall be

20

mailed to the department.

21

(d)  Wells abandoned upon completion of drilling.--If a well

22

is to be abandoned immediately after completion of drilling, the

23

well operator shall give at least 24 hours' notice by telephone,

24

confirmed by certified mail, to the department and to the coal

25

operator, lessee or owner, if any, fixing the date and time when

26

plugging will commence. Notice and the right to be present may

27

be waived by the department and the coal operator, lessee or

28

owner, if any. Whether or not representatives of the department

29

or coal operator, lessee or owner, if any, attend, if the well

30

operator has fully complied with the requirements of this

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1

section, the well operator may proceed, at the time fixed, to

2

plug the well in the manner provided by regulation of the

3

department. The well operator shall prepare the certificate of

4

plugging and mail copies of the same as provided in subsection

5

(b).

6

(e)  Orphan wells.--If a well is an orphan well or abandoned

7

without plugging, or if a well is in operation but not

8

registered under section 3213 (relating to well registration and

9

identification), the department may enter upon the well site and

10

plug the well and to sell equipment, casing and pipe at the site

11

which may have been used in production of the well in order to

12

recover the costs of plugging. The department shall make an

13

effort to determine ownership of a well which is in operation

14

but has not been registered and provide written notice to the

15

owner of pending action under this subsection. If the department

16

cannot determine ownership within 30 days, it may proceed under

17

this subsection. Costs of plugging shall have priority over all

18

liens on equipment, casing and pipe, and the sale shall be free

19

and clear of those liens to the extent that the cost of plugging

20

exceeds the sale price. If the amount obtained for casing and

21

pipe salvaged at the site is inadequate to pay for plugging, the

22

owner or operator of the abandoned or unregistered well shall be

23

liable for the additional costs.

24

(f)  Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term

25

"owner" does not include the owner or possessor of surface real

26

property, on which an abandoned well is located, who did not

27

participate or incur costs in and had no right of control over

28

the drilling or extraction operation of the abandoned well.

29

§ 3221.  Alternative methods.

30

A well operator may request permission to use a method or

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1

material other than those required by this chapter for casing,

2

plugging or equipping a well in an application to the department

3

which describes the proposed alternative in reasonable detail

4

and indicates the manner in which it will accomplish the goals

5

of this chapter. Notice of filing of the application shall be

6

given by the well operator by certified mail to any affected

7

coal operators, who may, within 15 days after the notice, file

8

objections to the proposed alternative method or material. If no

9

timely objections are filed or raised by the department, the

10

department shall determine whether to allow use of the proposed

11

alternative method or material.

12

§ 3222.  Well reporting requirements.

13

(a)  General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (a.1),  

14

each well operator shall file with the department, on a form

15

provided by the department, an annual report specifying the

16

amount of production, on the most well-specific basis available,

17

along with the status of each well, except that in subsequent

18

years only changes in status must be reported. The Commonwealth

19

may utilize reported information in enforcement proceedings, in

20

making designations or determinations under section 1927-A of

21

the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The

22

Administrative Code of 1929, or in aggregate form for

23

statistical purposes.

24

(a.1)  Marcellus Shale formation wells.--Each operator of an

25

unconventional well shall file with the department, on a form

26

provided by the department, a semiannual report specifying the

27

amount of production on the most well-specific basis available.

28

The initial report under this subsection shall be filed on or

29

before August 15, 2010, and shall include production data from

30

the preceding calendar year and specify the status of each well.

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1

In subsequent reports, only changes in status must be reported.

2

Subsequent semiannual reports shall be filed with the department

3

on or before February 15 and August 15 of each year and shall

4

include production data from the preceding reporting period. The

5

Commonwealth may utilize reported information in enforcement

6

proceedings, in making designations or determinations under

7

section 1927-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 or in

8

aggregate form for statistical purposes. Beginning November 1,

9

2010, the department shall make the reports available on its

10

publicly accessible Internet website. Costs incurred by the

11

department to comply with the requirements of this subsection

12

shall be paid out of the fees collected under section 3211(d)

13

(relating to well permits).

14

(b)  Collection of data.--

15

(1)  Well operators shall maintain a record of each well

16

drilled or altered.

17

(2)  A record containing the information required by the

18

department shall be filed within 30 days of cessation of

19

drilling of each well.

20

(3)  A completion report containing any additional

21

required information shall be filed within 30 days after

22

completing the well and shall be kept on file by the

23

department.

24

(4)  (i)  The completion report shall include a

25

stimulation record. At a minimum, the stimulation record

26

shall contain pump rates, pressures, total volume used to

27

stimulate the well, a list of hazardous and other

28

chemicals used to stimulate the well, volume of water

29

used, identification of water sources used under a

30

department-approved water management plan and depth at

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1

which potable aquifers are encountered during drilling.

2

The well operator may designate specific portions of the

3

stimulation record as containing a trade secret or

4

confidential proprietary information. The department

5

shall prevent disclosure of designated confidential

6

information to the extent permitted under the act of

7

February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-

8

Know Law.

9

(ii)  The completion report shall identify:

10

(A)  whether methane was encountered in other

11

than a target formation; and

12

(B)  the country of origin and manufacture of the

13

steel products used in the construction of the well.

14

(iii)  The completion report shall be kept on file by

15

the department and posted on the department's publicly

16

accessible Internet website.

17

(5)  Upon request of the department, the well operator

18

shall, within 90 days of completion or recompletion of

19

drilling, submit a copy of any electrical, radioactive or

20

other standard industry logs which have been run. No

21

information under this paragraph shall be required unless the

22

well operator has compiled the information in the ordinary

23

course of business.

24

(6)  Upon request by the department within one year, the

25

well operator shall file a copy of drill stem test charts,

26

formation water analysis, porosity, permeability or fluid

27

saturation measurements, core analysis and lithologic log or

28

sample description or other similar data as compiled. No

29

information under this paragraph shall be required unless the

30

well operator had it compiled in the ordinary course of

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1

business, and interpretation of data under this paragraph is

2

not required to be filed.

3

(c)  Drill cuttings and core samples.--Upon notification by

4

the department prior to commencement of drilling, the well

5

operator shall collect any additional data specified by the

6

department, including representative drill cuttings and samples

7

from cores taken and any other geological information that the

8

operator reasonably can compile. Interpretation of the data is

9

not required to be filed.

10

(d)  Retention and filing of data.--Data required under

11

subsection (b) and drill cuttings required under subsection (c)

12

shall be retained by the well operator and filed with the

13

department no more than three years after completion of the

14

well. Upon request, the department shall extend the deadline up

15

to five years from the date of completion of the well. The

16

department shall be entitled to utilize information collected

17

under this subsection in enforcement proceedings, in making

18

designations or determinations under section 1927-A of The

19

Administrative Code of 1929 and in aggregate form for

20

statistical purposes.

21

§ 3223.  Notification and effect of well transfer.

22

The owner or operator of a well shall notify the department

23

in writing within 30 days, in a form directed by regulation, of

24

sale, assignment, transfer, conveyance or exchange by or to the

25

owner of the well. A transfer shall not relieve the well owner

26

or operator of an obligation accrued under this chapter, nor

27

shall it relieve the owner or operator of an obligation to plug

28

the well until the requirements of section 3225 (relating to

29

bonding) have been met, at which time the transferring owner or

30

operator shall be relieved from all obligations under this

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1

chapter, including the obligation to plug the well.

2

§ 3224.  Coal operator responsibilities.

3

(a)  General rule.--At any time prior to removing coal or

4

other underground materials from, or extending the workings in,

5

a coal mine within 500 feet of an oil or gas well of which the

6

coal operator has knowledge, or within 500 feet of an approved

7

well location of which the coal operator has knowledge, the coal

8

operator, by certified mail, shall forward to or file with the

9

well operator and the department a copy of the relevant part of

10

all maps and plans which it is presently required by law to

11

prepare and file with the department, showing the pillar which

12

the coal operator proposes to leave in place around each oil or

13

gas well in the projected workings. Thereafter, the coal

14

operator may proceed with mining operations in the manner

15

projected on the maps and plans, but the operator may not remove

16

coal or cut a passageway within 150 feet of the well or approved

17

well location without written approval under this section. If,

18

in the opinion of the well operator or the department, the plan

19

indicates that the proposed pillar is inadequate to protect

20

either the integrity of the well or public health and safety,

21

the affected well operator shall attempt to reach an agreement

22

with the coal operator on a suitable pillar, subject to approval

23

of the department. Upon failure to agree, the well operator may,

24

within ten days after receipt of the proposed plan under this

25

section, file objections under section 3251 (relating to

26

conferences), indicating the size of the pillar to be left as to

27

each well. If objections are not timely filed and the department

28

has none, the department shall grant approval, reciting that

29

maps and plans have been filed, no objections have been made

30

thereto and the pillar proposed to be left for each well is

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1

approved in the manner as projected.

2

(b)  Objections.--If an objection is filed by the well

3

operator or raised by the department, the department shall order

4

that a conference be held under section 3251 within ten days of

5

the filing of objections. At the conference, the coal operator

6

and the person who has objected shall attempt to agree on a

7

proposed plan, showing the pillar to be left around each well,

8

which will satisfy the objections and receive department

9

approval. If an agreement is reached, the department shall grant

10

approval to the coal operator, reciting that a plan has been

11

filed and the pillar to be left for each well is approved

12

pursuant to the agreement. If an agreement is not reached on a

13

plan showing the pillar to be left with respect to a well, the

14

department, by appropriate order, shall determine the pillar to

15

be left with respect to the well. In a proceeding under this

16

section, the department shall follow as nearly as is possible

17

the original plan filed by the coal operator. The department

18

shall not require the coal operator to leave a pillar in excess

19

of 100 feet in radius, except that the department may require a

20

pillar of up to 150 feet in radius if the existence of unusual

21

conditions is established. Pillars determined by the department

22

shall be shown on maps or plans on file with the department as

23

provided in subsection (a), and the department shall approve the

24

pillar to be left for each well.

25

(c)  Pillars of reduced size.--Application may be made at any

26

time to the department by the coal operator to leave a pillar of

27

a size smaller than shown on the plan approved or determined by

28

the department under this section. If an application is filed,

29

the department shall:

30

(1)  follow the appropriate procedure under subsection

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1

(a) or (b);

2

(2)  by appropriate order, determine a plan involving a

3

pillar of a smaller size as to any well covered by the

4

application; and

5

(3)  grant approval for the pillar to be left with

6

respect to each well.

7

(d)  Violation.--No coal operator, without written approval

8

of the department after notice and opportunity for a hearing

9

under this section, shall remove coal or cut a passageway so as

10

to leave a pillar of smaller size, with respect to an oil or gas

11

well, than that approved by the department under this chapter.

12

(e)  Limitation.--With regard to a coal pillar required by

13

law to be left around a well drilled prior to April 18, 1985,

14

nothing in this chapter shall be construed to:

15

(1)  require a well operator to pay for the coal pillar;

16

(2)  affect a right which a coal operator may have had

17

prior to April 18, 1985, to obtain payment for the coal

18

pillar; or

19

(3)  affect a duty or right which a storage operator or

20

landowner may have had prior to April 18, 1985, to pay or not

21

pay for the coal pillar.

22

(f)  Mining through plugged wells.--A coal operator who

23

intends to mine through a plugged oil or gas well or otherwise

24

completely remove any pillar from around that well shall file a

25

plan under subsection (a) which shall be subject to all of the

26

provisions of this section. No coal operator may mine through a

27

plugged oil or gas well of which he has knowledge until written

28

approval has been granted by the department in accordance with

29

this section. The Bureau of Deep Mine Safety in the department

30

shall have the authority to establish conditions under which the

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1

department may approve a coal operator's plan to mine through a

2

plugged oil or gas well.

3

§ 3225.  Bonding.

4

(a)  General rule.--The following shall apply:

5

(1)  Except as provided in subsection (d), upon filing an

6

application for a well permit, and before continuing to

7

operate an oil or gas well, the owner or operator of the well

8

shall file with the department a bond covering the well and

9

well site on a form to be prescribed and furnished by the

10

department. A bond filed with an application for a well

11

permit shall be payable to the Commonwealth and conditioned

12

upon the operator's faithful performance of all drilling,

13

water supply replacement, restoration and plugging

14

requirements of this chapter. A bond for a well in existence

15

on April 18, 1985, shall be payable to the Commonwealth and

16

conditioned upon the operator's faithful performance of all

17

water supply replacement, restoration and plugging

18

requirements of this chapter. The amount of the bond required

19

shall be in the following amounts and may be adjusted by the

20

Environmental Quality Board every two years to reflect the

21

projected costs to the Commonwealth of plugging the well:

22

(i)  For wells with a total well bore length less

23

than 6,000 feet:

24

(A)  For operating up to 50 wells, $4,000 per

25

well; but no bond may be required under this clause

26

in excess of $35,000.

27

(B)  For operating 51 to 150 wells, $35,000 plus

28

$4,000 per well for each well in excess of 50 wells;

29

but no bond may be required under this clause in

30

excess of $60,000.

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1

(C)  For operating 151 to 250 wells, $60,000 plus

2

$4,000 per well for each well in excess of 150 wells;

3

but no bond may be required under this clause in

4

excess of $100,000.

5

(D)  For operating more than 250 wells, $100,000

6

plus $4,000 per well for each well in excess of 250

7

wells; but no bond may be required under this clause

8

in excess of $250,000.

9

(ii)  For wells with a total well bore length greater

10

than 6,000 feet:

11

(A)  For operating up to 25 wells, $10,000 per

12

well; but no bond may be required under this clause

13

in excess of $60,000.

14

(B)  For operating 26 to 50 wells, $60,000 plus

15

$10,000 per well for each well in excess of 25 wells;

16

but no bond may be required under this clause in

17

excess of $120,000.

18

(C)  For operating 51 to 150 wells, $120,000 plus

19

$10,000 per well for each well in excess of 50 wells;

20

but no bond may be required under this clause in

21

excess of $180,000.

22

(D)  For operating more than 150 wells, $180,000

23

plus $10,000 per well for each well in excess of 150

24

wells; but no bond may be required under this clause

25

in excess of $250,000.

26

(2)  In lieu of individual bonds for each well, an owner

27

or operator may file a blanket bond for the applicable amount

28

under paragraph (1), on a form prepared by the department,

29

covering all of its wells in this Commonwealth, as enumerated

30

on the bond form.

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1

(3)  Liability under the bond shall continue until the

2

well has been properly plugged in accordance with this

3

chapter and for a period of one year after filing of the

4

certificate of plugging with the department. Each bond shall

5

be executed by the operator and a corporate surety licensed

6

to do business in this Commonwealth and approved by the

7

secretary. In lieu of a corporate surety, the operator may

8

deposit with the department:

9

(i)  cash;

10

(ii)  certificates of deposit or automatically

11

renewable irrevocable letters of credit, from financial

12

institutions chartered or authorized to do business in

13

this Commonwealth and regulated and examined by the

14

Commonwealth or a Federal agency, which may be terminated

15

at the end of a term only upon 90 days' prior written

16

notice by the financial institution to the permittee and

17

the department;

18

(iii)  negotiable bonds of the United States

19

Government or the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Turnpike

20

Commission, the General State Authority, the State Public

21

School Building Authority or any municipality within the

22

Commonwealth; or

23

(iv)  United States Treasury Bonds issued at a

24

discount without a regular schedule of interest payments

25

to maturity, otherwise known as Zero Coupon Bonds, having

26

a maturity date of not more than ten years after the date

27

of purchase and at the maturity date having a value of

28

not less than the applicable amount under paragraph (1).

29

The cash deposit, certificate of deposit, amount of the

30

irrevocable letter of credit or market value of the

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1

securities shall be equal at least to the sum of the

2

bond.

3

(4)  The secretary shall, upon receipt of a deposit of

4

cash, letters of credit or negotiable bonds, immediately

5

place the same with the State Treasurer, whose duty it shall

6

be to receive and hold the same in the name of the

7

Commonwealth, in trust, for the purpose for which the deposit

8

is made.

9

(5)  The State Treasurer shall at all times be

10

responsible for custody and safekeeping of deposits. The

11

operator making the deposit shall be entitled from time to

12

time to demand and receive from the State Treasurer, on the

13

written order of the secretary, the whole or any portion of

14

collateral deposited, upon depositing with the State

15

Treasurer, in lieu of that collateral, other collateral of

16

classes specified in this section having a market value at

17

least equal to the sum of the bond, and also to demand,

18

receive and recover the interest and income from the

19

negotiable bonds as they become due and payable.

20

(6)  If negotiable bonds on deposit under this subsection

21

mature or are called, the State Treasurer, at the request of

22

the owner of the bonds, shall convert them into other

23

negotiable bonds, of classes specified in this section,

24

designated by the owner.

25

(7)  If notice of intent to terminate a letter of credit

26

is given, the department shall give the operator 30 days'

27

written notice to replace the letter of credit with other

28

acceptable bond guarantees as provided in this section. If

29

the owner or operator fails to timely replace the letter of

30

credit, the department shall draw upon and convert the letter

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1

of credit into cash and hold it as a collateral bond

2

guarantee.

3

(b)  Release.--No bond shall be fully released until the

4

requirements of subsection (a) and section 3223 (relating to

5

notification and effect of well transfer) have been fully met.

6

Upon release of bonds and collateral under this section, the

7

State Treasurer shall immediately return to the owner the

8

specified amount of cash or securities.

9

(c)  Noncompliance.--If a well owner or operator fails or

10

refuses to comply with subsection (a), regulations promulgated

11

under this chapter or conditions of a permit relating to this

12

chapter, the department may declare the bond forfeited and shall

13

certify the same to the Attorney General, who shall proceed to

14

enforce and collect the full amount of the bond and, if the well

15

owner or operator has deposited cash or securities as collateral

16

in lieu of a corporate surety, the department shall declare the

17

collateral forfeited and direct the State Treasurer to pay the

18

full amount of the funds into the Well Plugging Restricted

19

Revenue Account or to sell the security to the extent forfeited

20

and pay the proceeds into the Well Plugging Restricted Revenue

21

Account. If a corporate surety or financial institution fails to

22

pay a forfeited bond promptly and in full, the corporate surety

23

or financial institution shall be disqualified from writing

24

further bonds under this chapter or any other environmental law

25

administered by the department. A person aggrieved by reason of

26

forfeiting the bond or converting collateral, as provided in

27

this section, shall have a right to appeal to the Environmental

28

Hearing Board in the manner provided by law. Upon forfeiture of

29

a blanket bond for a violation occurring at one or more well

30

sites, the person whose bond is forfeited shall, within ten days

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1

of the forfeiture, submit a replacement bond to cover all other

2

wells of which the person is an owner or operator. Failure to

3

submit the replacement bond constitutes a violation of this

4

section as to each of the wells owned or operated by the person.

5

(d)  Alternatives to certain bonds.--The following shall

6

apply:

7

(1)  An operator of not more than 200 wells who cannot

8

obtain a bond for a well drilled prior to April 18, 1985, as

9

required under subsection (a), due to inability to

10

demonstrate sufficient financial resources may, in lieu of

11

the bond:

12

(i)  Submit to the department a fee in the amount of

13

$50 per well, a blanket fee of $500 for ten to 20 wells

14

or a blanket fee of $1,000 for more than 20 wells, which

15

shall be a nonrefundable fee paid each year that the

16

operator has not filed a bond with the department. All

17

fees collected in lieu of a bond under this subsection

18

shall be used for the purposes authorized by this

19

chapter. The Environmental Quality Board shall have the

20

power, by regulation, to increase the amount of the fees

21

established under this subsection.

22

(ii)  Make phased deposits of collateral to fully

23

collateralize the bond, subject to the following:

24

(A)  Payment shall be based on the number of

25

wells owned or operated. The operator shall make an

26

initial deposit and make annual deposits in

27

accordance with the schedule in clause (B). Interest

28

accumulated by the collateral shall become a part of

29

the bond until the collateral plus accumulated

30

interest equals the amount of the required bond. The

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1

collateral shall be deposited, in trust, with the

2

State Treasurer as provided in this subsection or

3

with a bank selected by the department which shall

4

act as trustee for the benefit of the Commonwealth to

5

guarantee the operator's compliance with the

6

drilling, water supply replacement, restoration and

7

plugging requirements of this chapter. The operator

8

shall be required to pay all costs of the trust.

9

(B)  An operator of up to ten existing wells who

10

does not intend to operate additional wells shall

11

deposit $250 per well and shall, thereafter, annually

12

deposit $50 per well until the obligations of this

13

section are fully met. An operator of 11 to 25 wells

14

or an operator of up to ten wells who applies for one

15

or more permits for additional wells shall deposit

16

$2,000 and shall, thereafter, annually deposit $1,150

17

plus $150 for each additional well to be permitted

18

that year until the obligations of this section are

19

fully met. An operator of 26 to 50 wells shall

20

deposit $3,000 and shall, thereafter, annually

21

deposit $1,300 plus $400 for each additional well to

22

be permitted that year until the obligations of this

23

section are fully met. An operator of 51 to 100 wells

24

shall deposit $4,000 and shall, thereafter, annually

25

deposit $1,500 plus $400 for each additional well to

26

be permitted that year until the obligations of this

27

section are fully met. Operators of 101 to 200 wells

28

shall deposit $8,000 and shall, thereafter, annually

29

deposit $1,600 plus $1,000 for each additional well

30

to be permitted that year until the obligations of

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1

this section are fully met. Operators of more than

2

200 wells shall fully bond their wells immediately.

3

(C)  The department shall reduce the amount of

4

phased collateral payments or the period of time over

5

which phased collateral payments shall be made on

6

behalf of owners or operators who, prior to August 1,

7

1992, have paid a fee in lieu of bond under

8

subparagraph (i), and who, by August 1, 1993, choose

9

to enter the phased collateral program under this

10

subparagraph rather than continue to make payments in

11

lieu of bond. Payments made prior to August 1, 1992,

12

in lieu of bond shall not be credited in any other

13

manner, and the department shall not be required to

14

refund the fees. The Environmental Quality Board, by

15

regulation, may change the annual deposits

16

established under clause (B) if necessary to

17

accommodate a change in the amount of the bond

18

required under this section.

19

(2)  An operator may continue to pay a fee in lieu of

20

bond or make phased deposits of collateral to fully

21

collateralize the bond so long as the operator does not miss

22

a payment under this subsection and remains in compliance

23

with this chapter. If an operator misses a payment under this

24

subsection, the operator shall immediately:

25

(i)  submit the appropriate bond amount in full; or

26

(ii)  cease all operations and plug all wells.

27

(d.1)  Individuals.--The following shall apply:

28

(1)  An individual who is unable to obtain a bond to

29

drill new wells due to inability to demonstrate financial

30

resources may meet the collateral bond requirements of

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1

subsection (a) by making phased deposits of collateral to

2

fully collateralize the bond. The individual shall be limited

3

to drilling ten new wells per calendar year and, for each

4

well to be drilled, deposit $500 and make an annual deposit

5

of 10% of the remaining bond amount for a period of ten

6

years. Interest accumulated shall become a part of the bond

7

until the collateral plus accumulated interest equals the

8

amount of the required bond. The collateral shall be

9

deposited in trust with the State Treasurer under subsection

10

(a) or with a bank selected by the department which shall act

11

as trustee for the benefit of the Commonwealth to guarantee

12

the individual's compliance with the drilling, water supply

13

replacement, restoration and plugging requirements of this

14

chapter. The individual shall pay all costs of the trust.

15

(2)  Individuals may continue to use phased collateral to

16

obtain permits if they have not missed a payment for a well

17

drilled under this provision and remain in compliance with

18

this chapter. If an individual misses a payment, the

19

individual shall:

20

(i)  immediately submit the appropriate bond amount

21

in full; or

22

(ii)  cease all operations and plug all wells.

23

(3)  For purposes of this subsection, an "individual"

24

means a natural person doing business under his own name.

25

(e)  Reservation of remedies.--All remedies violating this

26

chapter, regulations adopted under this chapter and conditions

27

of permits are expressly preserved. Nothing in this section

28

shall be construed as an exclusive penalty or remedy for

29

violations of law. No action taken under this section shall

30

waive or impair any other remedy or penalty provided in law.

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1

(f)  Change of law.--Owners or operators who have failed to

2

meet the requirements of this section prior to August 1, 1992,

3

shall not be required to make payments under this section on a

4

retroactive basis as a condition of obtaining a permit under

5

this chapter, nor shall the failure be deemed a violation of

6

this chapter.

7

§ 3226.  Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board.

8

(a)  Creation of board.--The Oil and Gas Technical Advisory

9

Board is created, consisting of the following members, all of

10

whom shall be chosen by the Governor and shall be residents of

11

this Commonwealth:

12

(1)  Three individuals, each of whom shall be:

13

(i)  a petroleum engineer;

14

(ii)  a petroleum geologist; or

15

(iii)  an experienced driller representative of the

16

oil and gas industry with three years of experience in

17

this Commonwealth.

18

(2)  One mining engineer from the coal industry with

19

three years of experience in this Commonwealth.

20

(3)  One geologist or petroleum engineer with three years

21

of experience in this Commonwealth, who shall be chosen from

22

a list of three names submitted by the Citizens Advisory

23

Council to the Governor and who shall sit as a representative

24

of the public interest.

25

(b)  Reimbursement.--Board members shall not receive a salary

26

but shall be reimbursed for all necessary expenses incurred in

27

the performance of their duties.

28

(c)  Majority vote.--All actions of the board shall be by

29

majority vote. The board shall meet as called by the secretary,

30

but not less than semiannually, to carry out its duties under

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1

this chapter. The board shall select a chairman and other

2

officers deemed appropriate.

3

(d)  Consultation.--The department shall consult with the

4

board in the formulation, drafting and presentation stages of

5

all regulations of a technical nature promulgated under this

6

chapter. The board shall be given a reasonable opportunity to

7

review and comment on all regulations of a technical nature

8

prior to submission to the Environmental Quality Board for

9

initial consideration. The written report of the board shall be

10

presented to the Environmental Quality Board with any regulatory

11

proposal. The chairman of the board shall be invited to

12

participate in the presentation of all regulations of a

13

technical nature before the Environmental Quality Board to the

14

extent allowed by procedures of the Environmental Quality Board.

15

Nothing herein shall preclude any member of the board from

16

filing a petition for rulemaking with the Environmental Quality

17

Board in accordance with procedures established by the

18

Environmental Quality Board.

19

SUBCHAPTER C

20

UNDERGROUND GAS STORAGE

21

Sec.

22

3231.  Reporting requirements for gas storage operations.

23

3232.  Reporting requirements for coal mining operations.

24

3233.  General gas storage reservoir operations.

25

3234.  Gas storage reservoir operations in coal areas.

26

3235.  Inspection of facilities and records.

27

3236.  Reliance on maps and burden of proof.

28

3237.  Exemptions and prohibitions.

29

§ 3231.  Reporting requirements for gas storage operations.

30

(a)  General rules.--The following shall apply:

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1

(1)  A person injecting into or storing gas in a storage

2

reservoir underlying or within 3,000 linear feet of a coal

3

mine operating in a coal seam that extends over the storage

4

reservoir or reservoir protective area shall, within 60 days,

5

file with the department a copy of a map and certain data in

6

the form and manner provided in this subsection or as

7

otherwise prescribed by regulation of the department.

8

(2)  A person injecting gas into or storing gas in a

9

storage reservoir which is not under or within 3,000 linear

10

feet of, but less than 10,000 linear feet from, a coal mine

11

operating in a coal seam that extends over the storage

12

reservoir or reservoir protective area shall file the map and

13

data within 60 days or a longer period set by departmental

14

regulation.

15

(3)  A person proposing to inject or store gas in a

16

storage reservoir located as defined in paragraph (1) or (2)

17

shall file the appropriate required map and data with the

18

department not less than six months prior to starting the

19

actual injection or storage.

20

(4)  A map required by this subsection shall be prepared

21

by a competent engineer or geologist, showing:

22

(i)  the stratum in which the existing or proposed

23

storage reservoir is or is proposed to be located;

24

(ii)  the geographic location of the outside

25

boundaries of the storage reservoir and reservoir

26

protective area;

27

(iii)  the location of all known oil or gas wells in

28

the reservoir or within 3,000 linear feet thereof which

29

have been drilled into or through the storage stratum,

30

indicating which have been or are to be cleaned out and

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1

plugged or reconditioned for storage along with the

2

proposed location of all additional wells which are to be

3

drilled within the storage reservoir or within 3,000

4

linear feet thereof.

5

(5)  The following, if available, shall be furnished for

6

all known oil or gas wells which have been drilled into or

7

through the storage stratum within the storage reservoir or

8

within 3,000 linear feet thereof: name of the operator, date

9

drilled, total depth, depth of production if the well was

10

productive of oil or gas, the initial rock pressure and

11

volume, the depths at which all coal seams were encountered

12

and a copy of the driller's log or other similar information.

13

At the time of the filing of the maps and data, a statement

14

shall be filed:

15

(i)  detailing efforts made to determine that the

16

wells shown are accurately located on the map;

17

(ii)  affirming that the wells shown represent, to

18

the best of the operator's knowledge, all oil or gas

19

wells which have ever been drilled into or below the

20

storage stratum within the proposed storage reservoir or

21

within the reservoir protective area;

22

(iii)  stating whether the initial injection is for

23

testing purposes;

24

(iv)  stating the maximum pressure at which injection

25

and storage of gas is contemplated; and

26

(v)  providing a detailed explanation of the methods

27

to be used or which previously have been used in

28

drilling, cleaning out, reconditioning and plugging wells

29

in the storage reservoir or within the reservoir

30

protective area.

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1

(6)  The map and data required to be filed under

2

paragraph (5) shall be amended or supplemented semiannually

3

if material changes occur. The department may require a

4

storage operator to amend or supplement the map or data at

5

more frequent intervals if material changes have occurred

6

justifying the earlier filing.

7

(b)  Other reporting requirements.--A person who is injecting

8

gas into or storing gas in a storage reservoir not at the time

9

subject to subsection (a), by a process other than that of

10

secondary recovery or gas recycling, shall, within 60 days, or a

11

longer period set by departmental regulations, file maps and

12

data required by departmental regulation and as follows:

13

(1)  A person who, after April 18, 1985, proposes to

14

inject or store gas in a storage reservoir in an area not

15

covered by subsection (a) by a process other than that of

16

secondary recovery or gas recycling shall file the required

17

map and data with the department not less than six months

18

prior to the starting of actual injection or storage.

19

(2)  The map shall be prepared by a competent engineer or

20

competent geologist and show:

21

(i)  the stratum in which the existing or proposed

22

storage reservoir is or is to be located;

23

(ii)  the geographic location of the outside

24

boundaries of the storage reservoir; and

25

(iii)  the location of all known oil or gas wells

26

within the reservoir, or within 3,000 linear feet

27

thereof, which have been drilled into or through the

28

storage stratum, indicating which have been or are to be

29

cleaned out and plugged or reconditioned for storage and

30

the proposed location of all additional wells which are

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1

to be drilled within the storage reservoir or within

2

3,000 linear feet thereof.

3

(3)  The following, if available, shall be furnished for

4

all known oil or gas wells which have been drilled into or

5

through the storage stratum within the storage reservoir or

6

within 3,000 linear feet thereof: name of the operator, date

7

drilled, total depth, depth of production if the well was

8

productive of oil or gas, the initial rock pressure and

9

volume and a copy of the driller's log or other similar

10

information. At the time of the filing of the maps and data,

11

a statement shall be filed:

12

(i)  detailing efforts made to determine that the

13

wells shown are accurately located on the map;

14

(ii)  affirming that the wells shown represent, to

15

the best of the operator's knowledge, all oil or gas

16

wells which have ever been drilled into or below the

17

storage stratum within the proposed storage reservoir;

18

(iii)  stating whether the initial injection is for

19

testing purposes;

20

(iv)  stating the maximum pressure at which injection

21

and storage of gas is contemplated; and

22

(v)  providing a detailed explanation of the methods

23

to be used or which previously have been used in

24

drilling, cleaning out, reconditioning and plugging wells

25

in the storage reservoir.

26

(4)  The map and data required to be filed under

27

paragraph (3) shall be amended or supplemented semiannually

28

if material changes occur. The department may require a

29

storage operator to amend or supplement the map or data at

30

more frequent intervals if material changes have occurred

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1

justifying the earlier filing.

2

(c)  Political subdivisions.--Storage operators shall give

3

notice to the department of the name of each political

4

subdivision and county in which the operator maintains and

5

operates a gas storage reservoir.

6

(d)  Notice to affected persons.--At the time of the filing

7

of maps and data and the filing of amended or supplemental maps

8

or data required by this section, the person filing the

9

information shall give written notice of the filing to all

10

persons who may be affected under the provisions of this chapter

11

by the storage reservoir described in the maps or data. Notices

12

shall contain a description of the boundaries of the storage

13

reservoir. When a person operating a coal mine or owning an

14

interest in coal properties which are or may be affected by the

15

storage reservoir requests, in writing, a copy of any map or

16

data filed with the department, the copy shall be furnished by

17

the storage operator.

18

(e)  Outside boundaries.--For purposes of this chapter, the

19

outside boundaries of a storage reservoir shall be defined by

20

the location of those wells around the periphery of the storage

21

reservoir which had no gas production when drilled in the

22

storage stratum. The boundaries shall be originally fixed or

23

subsequently changed if, based on the number and nature of the

24

wells and the geological and production knowledge of the storage

25

stratum, its character, permeability, distribution and operating

26

experience, it is determined in a conference under section 3251

27

(relating to conferences) that modifications should be made.

28

(f)  Inapplicability of section.--The requirements of this

29

section shall not apply to the operator of an underground gas

30

storage reservoir so long as the reservoir is located more than

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1

10,000 linear feet from an operating coal mine, except that the

2

storage operator shall give notice to the department of the name

3

of each political subdivision and county in which the operator

4

maintains and operates a gas storage reservoir. In political

5

subdivisions and counties where both gas storage reservoirs and

6

coal mines are being operated, the department may request the

7

storage operator to furnish maps showing geographical locations

8

and outside boundaries of the storage reservoirs. The department

9

shall keep a record of the information and promptly notify the

10

coal operator and the storage operator when notified by them

11

that the coal mine and storage reservoir are within 10,000

12

linear feet of each other.

13

§ 3232.  Reporting requirements for coal mining operations.

14

(a)  General rule.--A person owning or operating a coal mine

15

shall file with the department a map prepared and sealed by a

16

competent individual licensed as a professional engineer or

17

professional land surveyor under the provisions of the act of

18

May 23, 1945 (P.L.913, No.367), known as the Engineer, Land

19

Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law, showing the outside

20

coal boundaries of the operating coal mine, the existing

21

workings and exhausted areas and the relationship of the

22

boundaries to identifiable surface properties and landmarks. A

23

person owning or operating an operating coal mine which has been

24

penetrated by a well shall furnish a mine map to the department

25

each year indicating the excavations for the preceding year and

26

the projections for the ensuing year. The map required by this

27

subsection shall be furnished to a person storing or

28

contemplating the storage of gas in the vicinity of operating

29

coal mines, upon written request, by the coal operator, and the

30

person and the department shall thereafter be informed of any

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1

boundary changes at the time the changes occur. The department

2

shall keep a record of the information and promptly notify the

3

coal operator and storage operator when notified by them that

4

the coal mine and the storage reservoir are within 10,000 linear

5

feet of each other.

6

(b)  Mines near certain reservoirs.--A person owning or

7

operating any coal mine which is or which comes within 10,000

8

linear feet of a storage reservoir and where the coal seam being

9

operated extends over the storage reservoir or reservoir

10

protective area shall, within 45 days after receiving notice

11

from the storage operator of that fact, file with the department

12

and furnish to the person operating the storage reservoir a map

13

in the form required by subsection (a) showing, in addition to

14

the requirements of subsection (a), existing and projected

15

excavations and workings of the operating coal mine for the

16

ensuing 18-month period and the location of oil or gas wells of

17

which the coal operator has knowledge. The person owning or

18

operating the coal mine shall, each six months thereafter, file

19

with the department and furnish to the person operating the

20

storage reservoir a revised map showing any additional

21

excavations and workings, together with the projected

22

excavations and workings for the then ensuing 18-month period,

23

which may be within 10,000 linear feet of the storage reservoir.

24

The department may require a coal operator to file revised maps

25

at more frequent intervals if material changes have occurred

26

justifying earlier filing. The person owning or operating the

27

coal mine shall also file with the department and furnish the

28

person operating the reservoir prompt notice of any wells which

29

have been cut into, together with all available pertinent

30

information.

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1

(c)  Mines near gas storage reservoirs.--A person owning or

2

operating a coal mine who has knowledge that it overlies or is

3

within 2,000 linear feet of a gas storage reservoir shall,

4

within 30 days, notify the department and the storage operator

5

of that fact.

6

(d)  Mines projected to be near storage reservoirs.--When a

7

person owning or operating a coal mine expects that, within the

8

ensuing nine-month period, the coal mine will be extended to a

9

point which will be within 2,000 linear feet of any storage

10

reservoir, the person shall notify the department and storage

11

operator in writing of that fact.

12

(e)  New mines.--A person intending to establish or

13

reestablish an operating coal mine which will be over a storage

14

reservoir or within 2,000 linear feet of a storage reservoir or

15

may, within nine months thereafter, be expected to be within

16

2,000 linear feet of a storage reservoir shall immediately

17

notify the department and storage operator in writing. Notice

18

shall include the date on which the person intends to establish

19

or reestablish the operating coal mine.

20

(f)  Misdemeanor.--A person who serves notice as required by

21

this subsection of an intention to establish or reestablish an

22

operating coal mine, without intending in good faith to

23

establish or reestablish the mine, is liable for continuing

24

damages to a storage operator injured by the improper notice and

25

commits a misdemeanor subject to the penalties of section 3255

26

(relating to penalties).

27

§ 3233.  General gas storage reservoir operations.

28

(a)  General rule.--A person who operates or proposes to

29

operate a storage reservoir, except one filled by the secondary

30

recovery or gas recycling process, shall:

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1

(1)  Use every known method which is reasonable under the

2

circumstances for discovering and locating all wells which

3

have or may have been drilled into or through the storage

4

reservoir.

5

(2)  Plug or recondition, as provided in departmental

6

regulations, all known wells drilled into or through the

7

storage reservoir, except to the extent otherwise provided in

8

subsections (b) and (c).

9

(b)  Wells to be plugged.--To comply with subsection (a),

10

wells which are to be plugged shall be plugged in the manner

11

specified in section 3220 (relating to plugging requirements).

12

(b.1)  Wells plugged prior to enactment of section.--If a

13

well located in the storage reservoir area has been plugged

14

prior to April 18, 1985, and on the basis of data, information

15

and other evidence submitted to the department, it is determined

16

that the plugging was done in the manner required by section

17

3220 or approved as an alternative method under section 3221

18

(relating to alternative methods) and the plugging is still

19

sufficiently effective to meet the requirements of this chapter,

20

the obligations under subsection (a) with regard to plugging the

21

well shall be considered to have been fully satisfied.

22

(c)  Wells to be reconditioned.--The following shall apply:

23

(1)  To comply with subsection (a), wells which are to be

24

reconditioned shall, unless the department by regulation

25

specifies a different procedure, be cleaned out from the

26

surface through the storage horizon, and the producing casing

27

and casing strings determined not to be in good physical

28

condition shall be replaced with new casing, using the same

29

procedure as is applicable to drilling a new well under this

30

chapter. In the case of wells to be used for gas storage, the

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1

annular space between each string of casing and the annular

2

space behind the largest diameter casing to the extent

3

possible shall be filled to the surface with cement or

4

bentonitic mud or a nonporous material approved by the

5

department under section 3221. At least 15 days prior to

6

reconditioning, the storage operator shall give notice to the

7

department, setting forth in the notice the manner in which

8

it is planned to recondition the well and any pertinent data

9

known to the storage operator which will indicate the

10

condition of the well existing at that time. In addition, the

11

storage operator shall give the department at least 72 hours'

12

notice of the time when reconditioning is to begin. If no

13

objections are raised by the department within ten days, the

14

storage operator may proceed with reconditioning in

15

accordance with the plan as submitted. If objections are made

16

by the department, the department may fix a time and place

17

for a conference under section 3251 (relating to conferences)

18

at which the storage operator and department shall endeavor

19

to agree on a plan to satisfy the objections and meet the

20

requirements of this section. If no agreement is reached, the

21

department may, by an appropriate order, determine whether

22

the plan as submitted meets the requirements of this section

23

or what changes, if any, are required. If, in reconditioning

24

a well in accordance with the plan, physical conditions are

25

encountered which justify or necessitate a change in the

26