PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 2689, 2765

PRINTER'S NO.  2777

  

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 THIRD CONSIDERATION, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, NOVEMBER 17, 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

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

22

additions; providing for local ordinances relating to oil and

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

 


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

c.  keystone transit

8

d.  clean transit

9

SUBCHAPTER A

10

(RESERVED)

11

SUBCHAPTER B

12

OIL AND GAS LEASE FUND

13

Sec.

14

3301.  Definitions.

15

3302.  Oil and Gas Lease Fund.

16

3303.  Powers and duties of secretary.

17

3304.  Appropriation of moneys.

18

3305.  Interfund transfers.

19

§ 3301.  Definitions.

20

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter

21

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

22

context clearly indicates otherwise:

23

"Department."  The Department of Conservation and Natural

24

Resources of the Commonwealth.

25

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

26

subchapter.

27

"Secretary."  The Secretary of Conservation and Natural

28

Resources of the Commonwealth.

29

§ 3302.  Oil and Gas Lease Fund.

30

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

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1

established in the State Treasury.

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

the fund to be used exclusively:

6

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

7

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

8

any of the purposes enumerated in this subchapter; and

9

(3)  for interfund transfers as provided in section 3305

10

(relating to interfund transfers).

11

§ 3303.  Powers and duties of secretary.

12

The secretary shall have the following powers and duties:

13

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

14

need for and the location of any project authorized by this

15

chapter.

16

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

17

purchase, condemnation or otherwise such lands as may be

18

needed.

19

§ 3304.  Appropriation of moneys.

20

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

21

specifically appropriated on a continuing basis to the

22

department to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

23

§ 3305.  Interfund transfers.

24

Transfers shall be made between funds in the State Treasury

25

as follows:

26

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

27

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

28

prior fiscal year shall be transferred from the fund to the

29

Environmental Stewardship Fund for the purpose of plugging

30

abandoned oil and gas wells and other uses authorized by law

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1

for the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

2

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

3

shall be transferred from the fund to the Hazardous Sites

4

Cleanup Fund for the purpose of remedial response or

5

remedy at oil and gas well sites and other uses

6

authorized by law for the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.

7

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

8

the following shall apply:

9

(A)  the sum of the amount transferred under

10

subparagraph (i) during the prior fiscal year; and

11

(B)  an amount equal to the percentage change in

12

the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers from

13

the prior fiscal year, multiplied by the amount in

14

clause (A),

15

shall be transferred from the fund to the Hazardous Sites

16

Cleanup Fund for the purpose specified in subparagraph

17

(i).

18

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

19

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

20

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

21

transferred from the fund to the several counties, school

22

districts and townships entitled to receive payment from the

23

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

24

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

25

Municipal Financial Relief Law. The moneys transferred under

26

this paragraph shall be allocated to each county, school

27

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

28

the county, school district or township to which the payment

29

under that act applies in proportion to the aggregate number

30

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

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1

and townships in this Commonwealth.

2

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

3

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

4

Conservation District Fund. These funds shall be distributed

5

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

6

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

7

provisions of the State Conservation Commission's

8

Conservation District Fund Allocation Program—Statement of

9

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

10

Conservation District Fund Allocation Program—Statement of

11

Policy).

12

SUBCHAPTER C

13

KEYSTONE TRANSIT

14

Sec.

15

3311.  Short title of subchapter.

16

3312.  Definitions.

17

3313.  Keystone Transit Program.

18

§ 3311.  Short title of subchapter.

19

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the

20

Keystone Transit Act.

21

§ 3312.  Definitions.

22

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter

23

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

24

context clearly indicates otherwise:

25

"Dedicated compressed natural gas bus."  A bus which runs

26

solely on compressed natural gas.

27

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

28

the Commonwealth.

29

"Mass transit authority."  An operator of regularly scheduled

30

transportation that is available to the general public and is

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1

provided according to published schedules along designated

2

published routes with specified stopping points for the taking

3

on and discharging of passengers. The term does not include

4

exclusive ride taxi services, charter or sightseeing services,

5

nonpublic transportation or school bus or limousine services.

6

"Program."  The Keystone Transit Program.

7

"Small mass transit authority."  A mass transit authority

8

located in this Commonwealth that does not exceed 245,000

9

revenue vehicle hours for two consecutive years.

10

§ 3313.  Keystone Transit Program.

11

(a)  Establishment.--The department shall establish and

12

administer the Keystone Transit Program.

13

(b)  Purpose.--The program is established in order to

14

decrease emissions from mass transit buses by utilizing natural

15

gas as a vehicle fuel.

16

(c)  Transfer of funds.--The State Treasurer shall transfer

17

from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to the department the sum of

18

$5,000,000 to fund the program.

19

(d)  Use of funds.--The sum of $5,000,000 shall be used to

20

fund competitive grants available to small mass transit

21

authorities for the purchase of new dedicated compressed natural

22

gas buses.

23

(e)  Application process.--

24

(1)  A mass transit authority must complete and submit to

25

the department a keystone transit grant application.

26

(2)  Approved applications must obligate the mass transit

27

authority to contract with a private company:

28

(i)  to build exclusively with private funds; and

29

(ii)  to maintain and operate any new compressed

30

natural gas fueling facility necessary to support

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1

compressed natural gas buses purchased with funds

2

received under this subchapter.

3

(3)  The term "operate" as used in this subsection shall

4

not include the actual act of fueling buses.

5

(f)  Eligible costs.--

6

(1)  Grant funds received under this subchapter shall be

7

eligible for:

8

(i)  Federally assisted purchases of new dedicated

9

compressed natural gas buses and shall be limited to the

10

total percentage of the State and local match.

11

(ii)  Nonfederally assisted bus purchases and shall

12

be limited to 50% of the total incremental cost of a new

13

dedicated compressed natural gas bus.

14

(2)  The incremental cost shall be capped at $60,000 for

15

buses which have a gross vehicle weight rating over 26,000

16

pounds and $35,000 for buses with a gross vehicle weight

17

rating of 26,000 pounds and under.

18

(3)  Buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of less

19

than 16,000 pounds shall be ineligible.

20

(4)  Priority shall be given to those applications which

21

provide for public access to compressed natural gas vehicle

22

fueling dispensers.

23

(g)  Grant program.--The department shall establish a formula

24

and method for awarding of grants under the program consistent

25

with this subchapter.

26

(h)  Appeal process.--Applicants that are not awarded grants

27

under this subchapter shall not have the right to a hearing or

28

the issuance of an adjudication under section 4 of the act of

29

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

30

Hearing Board Act, regarding the department's decision.

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1

SUBCHAPTER d

2

CLEAN TRANSIT

3

Sec.

4

3321.  Short title of subchapter.

5

3322.  Definitions.

6

3323.  Clean Transit Program.

7

§ 3321.  Short title of subchapter.

8

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the Clean

9

Transit Act.

10

§ 3322.  Definitions.

11

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter

12

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

13

context clearly indicates otherwise:

14

"Dedicated compressed natural gas bus."  A bus which runs

15

solely on compressed natural gas.

16

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

17

the Commonwealth.

18

"Large mass transit authority."  A mass transit authority

19

located in this Commonwealth that exceeds 245,000 revenue

20

vehicle hours for two consecutive years.

21

"Mass transit authority."  An operator of regularly scheduled

22

transportation that is available to the general public and is

23

provided according to published schedules along designated

24

published routes with specified stopping points for the taking

25

on and discharging of passengers. The term does not include

26

exclusive ride taxi services, charter or sightseeing services,

27

nonpublic transportation or school bus or limousine services.

28

"Program."  The Clean Transit Program.

29

§ 3323.  Clean Transit Program.

30

(a)  Establishment.--The department shall establish and

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1

administer the Clean Transit Program.

2

(b)  Purpose.--The program is established in order to

3

decrease emissions from mass transit buses by utilizing natural

4

gas as a vehicle fuel.

5

(c)  Transfer of funds.--The State Treasurer shall transfer

6

from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to the department the sum of

7

$7,500,000 to fund the program.

8

(d)  Use of funds.--The sum of $7,500,000 shall be deposited

9

into a fund to be administered by the department and made

10

available to large mass transit authorities for the purchase of

11

new dedicated compressed natural gas buses. The following shall

12

apply:

13

(1)  The money in the fund is hereby appropriated on a

14

continuing basis to the Department of Environmental

15

Protection for the purposes provided for in this subchapter.

16

(2)  No more than 1.5% of the fund may be used for

17

administration.

18

(3)  The department may set terms applicable to loans in

19

any manner it deems appropriate, subject to the provisions of

20

this subchapter.

21

(e)  Application process.--

22

(1)  A mass transit authority must complete and submit to

23

the department a clean transit loan application.

24

(2)  Approved applications must obligate the mass transit

25

authority to contract with a private company:

26

(i)   to build exclusively with private funds; and

27

(ii)  to maintain and operate any new compressed

28

natural gas fueling facility necessary to support

29

compressed natural gas buses purchased with funds

30

received under this act.

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1

(3)  The term "operate" as used in this subsection shall

2

not include the actual act of fueling buses.

3

(f)  Eligible costs.--

4

(1)  Loan funds received under this subchapter shall be

5

eligible for:

6

(i)  Federally assisted purchases of new dedicated

7

compressed natural gas buses and shall be limited to the

8

total percentage of the State and local match.

9

(ii)  Nonfederally assisted bus purchases and shall

10

be limited to 50% of the total incremental cost of a new

11

compressed natural gas bus.

12

(2)  The incremental cost shall be capped at $60,000 for

13

buses which have a gross vehicle weight rating over 26,000

14

pounds and $35,000 for buses with a gross vehicle weight

15

rating of 26,000 pounds and under.

16

(3)  Buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of less

17

than 16,000 pounds shall be ineligible.

18

(4)  Priority shall be given to those applications which

19

provide for public access to compressed natural gas vehicle

20

fueling dispensers.

21

(g)  Loan program.--The department shall establish a formula

22

and method for awarding of loans under the program consistent

23

with this subchapter.

24

(h)  Fund repayment.--

25

(1)  Loans disbursed from the fund under subsection (d)

26

shall be repaid to the Oil and Gas Lease Fund within five

27

years from disbursement and before June 30, 2021.

28

(2)  On June 30, 2021, no money shall be deposited into

29

the fund and any remaining money in the fund shall be

30

transferred to the Oil and Gas Lease Fund.

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1

(3)  The interest rate for loans provided by the program

2

shall not exceed 2%.

3

(i)  Appeal process.--Applicants that are not awarded grants

4

under this subchapter shall not have the right to a hearing or

5

the issuance of an adjudication under section 4 of the act of

6

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

7

Hearing Board Act, regarding the department's decision.

8

CHAPTER 35

9

WELLS

10

Subchapter

11

A.  Unconventional Gas Wells

12

B.  (Reserved)

13

SUBCHAPTER A

14

UNCONVENTIONAL GAS WELLS

15

Sec.

16

3501.  Short title.

17

3502.  Definitions.

18

3503.  Unconventional gas well impact fee.

19

3504.  (Reserved).

20

3505.  (Reserved).

21

3506.  Administration.

22

3506.1.  Well information.

23

3506.2.  Payment confirmation.

24

3506.3.  County authority.

25

3506.4.  Enforcement.

26

3506.5.  Examinations.

27

3507.  Deposit of fees.

28

3508.  Allocation and distribution of fees.

29

3509.  Calculation of payments.

30

3510.  Recordkeeping and State reporting.

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1

3511.  Expiration.

2

§ 3501.  Short title.

3

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the

4

Unconventional Gas Well Impact Act.

5

§ 3502.  Definitions.

6

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter

7

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

8

context clearly indicates otherwise:

9

"Association."  A partnership, limited partnership or any

10

other form of unincorporated enterprise owned or conducted by

11

two or more persons.

12

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

13

coal seams, mined-out areas or gob wells.

14

"Corporation."  A corporation, joint stock association,

15

limited liability company, business trust or any other

16

incorporated enterprise organized under the laws of the United

17

States, this Commonwealth or any other state, territory or

18

foreign country or dependency.

19

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

20

the Commonwealth.

21

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

22

streets most recently certified by the Department of

23

Transportation as eligible for distribution of liquid fuels

24

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

25

referred to as the Liquid Fuels Tax Municipal Allocation Law.

26

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

27

township.

28

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

29

hydrocarbon gases, primarily methane, possibly including ethane,

30

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

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1

hydrogen sulfide and other gas species. The term includes gas

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

methane.

6

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

7

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

8

during a calendar year.

9

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

10

company that holds a permit or other authorization to engage in

11

the business of severing natural gas for sale, profit or

12

commercial use from an unconventional gas well in this

13

Commonwealth. The term does not include a person who severs

14

natural gas from a storage field.

15

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

16

association or other entity, including the Commonwealth and any

17

of its political subdivisions, instrumentalities and

18

authorities. When the term is used in a provision prescribing

19

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

20

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

21

corporation.

22

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

23

unconventional gas well impact fee).

24

"Reporting period."  The fiscal year in which an

25

unconventional gas well impact fee is assessed.

26

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

27

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

28

gas from a geologic shale formation existing below the base of

29

the Elk Sandstone or its geologic equivalent stratigraphic

30

interval where oil or gas generally cannot be produced at

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1

economic flow rates or in economic volumes except by one of the

2

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

"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 gas well producing natural gas

10

within 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 all of the natural

21

gas is used directly by a consumer at the site.

22

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

23

an unconventional gas well which is in existence on the

24

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

25

follows:

26

(1)  For the first year following the effective date of

27

the ordinance, not more than $40,000.

28

(2)  For the second year following the effective date of

29

the ordinance, not more than $30,000.

30

(3)  For the third year following the effective date of

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1

the ordinance, not more than $20,000.

2

(4)  For the fourth year through the tenth year following

3

the effective date of the ordinance, not more than $10,000.

4

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

5

unconventional gas well drilled after the effective date of the

6

ordinance under subsection (a) shall be as follows:

7

(1)  For the first year, not more than $40,000.

8

(2)  For the second year, not more than $30,000.

9

(3)  For the third year, not more than $20,000.

10

(4)  For the fourth year through the tenth year, not more

11

than $10,000.

12

(e)  Vertical unconventional gas well fee.--

13

(1)  The fee for a vertical unconventional gas well shall

14

be not more than 25% of the fee established in subsections

15

(c) and (d).

16

(2)  For purposes of this subsection, a vertical

17

unconventional gas well shall be defined as an unconventional

18

gas well that utilizes hydraulic fracture treatment through a

19

single vertical well bore.

20

(f)  Prohibition.--

21

(1)  Under no circumstances may an operator make an

22

unconventional gas well impact fee, or any other levy related

23

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

24

indebtedness or liability of a landowner, leaseholder or

25

other person in possession of real property upon which such

26

removal or extraction occurs.

27

(2)  Any provision of an agreement between an operator

28

and a landowner, leaseholder or other person in possession of

29

real property upon which removal or extraction of natural gas

30

occurs that violates paragraph (1) shall be null and void.

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1

(3)  This section shall be applicable to any agreement

2

entered into on or before before, on or after the effective

<--

3

date of this section.

4

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

5

cover a period of natural gas production which occurred prior to

6

the effective date of the ordinance.

7

§ 3504.  (Reserved).

8

§ 3505.  (Reserved).

9

§ 3506.  Administration.

10

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

11

ordinance imposing a fee under this chapter and each April 1

12

thereafter, each operator shall submit a report and payment of

13

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

14

for the previous calendar year. The report shall include the

15

following:

16

(1)  The number of unconventional gas wells of an

17

operator in each municipality within the county.

18

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

19

severed by the operator for each unconventional gas well

20

identified under paragraph (1) during the previous calendar

21

year.

22

(3)  The date that each unconventional gas well

23

identified under paragraph (1) began or ceased the production

24

of natural gas.

25

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

26

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

27

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

28

become delinquent if not remitted to the county on the reporting

29

date.

30

(c)  Public availability.--A report under this section shall

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1

be a public record under the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6,

2

No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.

3

§ 3506.1.  Well information.

4

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

5

county with a list of all unconventional gas wells that have

6

received a well permit from the department issued under this

7

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

8

of providing the list to each county, the department may

9

maintain a list on its publicly accessible Internet website if

10

the list is updated on a monthly basis.

11

(b)  Updates.--An operator shall notify the county within 30

12

days from the date the unconventional gas well began or ceased

13

the production of natural gas.

14

§ 3506.2.  Payment confirmation.

15

Prior to issuing a permit to drill an unconventional gas well

16

in this Commonwealth, the department shall require the permit

17

applicant to certify in its well permit application that the  

18

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

19

The department may deny a well permit application if it finds

20

that the operator falsified this certification.

21

§ 3506.3.  County authority.

22

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

23

determinations necessary to calculate and collect a fee imposed

24

under this chapter, including, if applicable, interest and

25

penalties.

26

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

27

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

28

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

29

basis for the determination.

30

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

- 17 -

 


1

be sent to the operator at its registered address via certified

2

mail.

3

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

4

paid under this chapter within three years after the date the

5

report under this chapter is filed.

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

§ 3506.4.  Enforcement.

10

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

11

delinquent fee imposed under this chapter at the rate prescribed

12

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

13

known as The Fiscal Code.

14

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

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

the aggregate.

20

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

21

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

22

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

23

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

24

the operator has not provided a complete and accurate statement

25

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

26

the county may estimate the volume in its deficiency notice.

27

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

28

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

29

equity.

30

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

- 18 -

 


1

collectible in the manner provided by law for the collection of

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

been entered and docketed of record by the prothonotary of the

7

county where the property is situated.

8

§ 3506.5.  Examinations.

9

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

10

chapter, or its authorized agents or representatives, shall:

11

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

12

operator in order to verify the accuracy and completeness of

13

a report filed or fee paid under this chapter.

14

(2)  Require and compel the preservation and production

15

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

16

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

17

to which the records relate.

18

(3)  Examine any employee of an operator concerning the

19

severing of natural gas subject to a fee or any matter

20

relating to the enforcement of this chapter.

21

(b)  Unauthorized disclosure.--

22

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

23

any report, examination, investigation or hearing under this

24

section shall be confidential and shall be exempt from

25

disclosure under the provisions of the act of February 14,

26

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

27

not be disclosed except in accordance with judicial order or

28

as otherwise provided by law.

29

(2)  An individual unlawfully divulging the information

30

described under this subsection commits a misdemeanor and

- 19 -

 


1

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

2

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

3

for not more than one year, or both.

4

§ 3507.  Deposit of fees.

5

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

6

chapter shall establish an interest-bearing account designed

7

solely for fees.

8

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

9

under this chapter shall be deposited into the account described

10

under subsection (a).

11

§ 3508.  Allocation and distribution of fees.

12

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

13

established under section 3507 (relating to deposit of fees)

14

shall be allocated as follows:

15

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

16

to the county and its municipalities in the manner provided

17

under subsection (b).

18

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

19

to the Commonwealth and distributed in the manner provided

20

under subsections (c) and (d).

21

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

22

fees allocated to the county and its municipalities under

23

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

24

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

25

the county where the producing unconventional gas wells are

26

located.

27

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

28

distributed to the municipalities where producing

29

unconventional gas wells are located. The amount for each

30

municipality shall be determined using a formula that divides

- 20 -

 


1

the number of producing unconventional gas wells in the

2

municipality by the number of producing unconventional gas

3

wells in the county and multiplies the resulting percentage

4

by the amount available for distribution under this

5

subparagraph.

6

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

7

distributed to all municipalities in the county where

8

producing unconventional gas 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 natural gas development.

- 21 -

 


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

- 22 -

 


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

- 23 -

 


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

(11)  Career and technical centers for training of

12

workers in the oil and gas industry.

13

§ 3509.  Calculation of payments.

14

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

15

imposes and collects the unconventional gas well impact fee

16

shall certify the number of all unconventional gas wells located

17

within each municipality of the county based upon the

18

appropriate reports provided by the department.

19

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

20

county that imposes and collects the unconventional gas well

21

impact fee shall pay to municipalities the amounts required

22

under this subchapter.

23

§ 3510.  Recordkeeping and State reporting.

24

(a)  General rule.--Commencing in calendar year  2013 and

25

each year thereafter, before December 1, each county that

26

imposes and collects the unconventional gas well impact fee

27

authorized by this subchapter shall prepare and deliver a report

28

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

29

of Representatives detailing the expenditure of the funds

30

collected under this subchapter.

- 24 -

 


1

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

2

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

3

of the funds.

4

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

5

receives the funds shall make its financial records and other

6

documents relating to its expenditure of the funds available to

7

the department.

8

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

9

of the year following the initial receipt of any fees

10

distributed under this section and each June 30 thereafter.

11

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

12

municipality's publicly accessible Internet website. If a

13

municipality does not maintain a publicly accessible Internet

14

website, the municipality shall provide its report to the

15

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

16

county's publicly accessible Internet website.

17

§ 3511.  Expiration.

18

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

19

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

20

unconventional gas well producing gas in this Commonwealth,

21

submit for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin notice of

22

that fact.

23

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

24

publication of the notice under subsection (a).

25

SUBCHAPTER B

26

(RESERVED)

27

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

28

PART I

29

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

30

(RESERVED)

- 25 -

 


1

PART II

2

(RESERVED)

3

PART III

4

UTILIZATION

5

Chapter

6

31.  (Reserved)

7

32.  Development

8

CHAPTER 31

9

(RESERVED)

10

CHAPTER 32

11

DEVELOPMENT

12

Subchapter

13

A.  Preliminary Provisions

14

B.  General Requirements

15

C.  Underground Gas Storage

16

D.  Eminent Domain

17

E.  Enforcement and Remedies

18

F.  Miscellaneous Provisions

19

SUBCHAPTER A

20

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

21

Sec.

22

3201.  Scope of chapter.

23

3202.  Declaration of purpose.

24

3203.  Definitions.

25

§ 3201.  Scope of chapter.

26

This chapter relates to oil and gas.

27

§ 3202.  Declaration of purpose.

28

The purposes of this chapter are to:

29

(1)  Permit optimal development of oil and gas resources

30

of this Commonwealth consistent with protection of the

- 26 -

 


1

health, safety, environment and property of Pennsylvania

2

citizens.

3

(2)  Protect the safety of personnel and facilities

4

employed in coal mining or exploration, development, storage

5

and production of natural gas or oil.

6

(3)  Protect the safety and property rights of persons

7

residing in areas where mining, exploration, development,

8

storage or production occurs.

9

(4)  Protect the natural resources, environmental rights

10

and values secured by the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

11

§ 3203.  Definitions.

12

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter

13

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

14

context clearly indicates otherwise:

15

"Abandoned well."  Any of the following:

16

(1)  A well:

17

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

18

inject any gas, petroleum or other liquid within the

19

preceding 12 months;

20

(ii)  for which equipment necessary for production,

21

extraction or injection has been removed; or

22

(iii)  considered dry and not equipped for production

23

within 60 days after drilling, redrilling or deepening.

24

(2)  The term does not include wells granted inactive

25

status.

26

"Alteration."  An operation which changes the physical

27

characteristics of a well bore, including stimulation or

28

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

29

this chapter only, the term does not include:

30

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

- 27 -

 


1

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

2

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

3

complies with regulations promulgated under this chapter,

4

except that this exclusion does not apply:

5

(i)  to production casings in coal areas when the

6

production casings are also the coal protection casings;

7

or

8

(ii)  when the method of repairing or replacing the

9

casing would affect the coal protection casing.

10

(2)  Stimulation of a well.

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

which persons live or customarily work.

15

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

16

wells drilled for natural gas or petroleum.

17

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

18

(1)  Hydraulic cement properly mixed with water only.

19

(2)  A mixture of materials adequate for bonding or

20

sealing of well bores as approved by regulations promulgated

21

under this chapter.

22

"Coal mine."  Any of the following:

23

(1)  Operations in a coal seam, including excavated

24

portions, abandoned portions and places actually being

25

worked.

26

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

27

other ways and openings, including those which are in the

28

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

29

facilities connected with them below the surface.

30

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

- 28 -

 


1

operate a coal mine as an owner or lessee.

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

6

the Commonwealth.

7

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

8

deepening of an existing well.

9

"Environmental law."  Any of the following:

10

(1)  A Federal statute pertaining to oil and gas

11

operations, public health, safety, natural resources or the

12

environment.

13

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

14

agency interpretation or guidance pertaining to oil and gas

15

operations, public health, safety, natural resources or the

16

environment.

17

(3)  A Federal judicial decision pertaining to oil and

18

gas operations, public health, safety, natural resources or

19

the environment.

20

(4)  A Commonwealth statute pertaining to oil and gas

21

operations, public health, safety, natural resources or the

22

environment. The term includes any of the following:

23

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

24

known as The Clean Streams Law.

25

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

26

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

27

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

28

known as the Delaware River Basin Compact.

29

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

30

known as the Oil and Gas Conservation Law.

- 29 -

 


1

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

2

referred to as the Susquehanna River Basin Compact Law.

3

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

4

known as the Storm Water Management Act.

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

known as the Solid Waste Management Act.

9

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

10

known as the Wild Resource Conservation Act.

11

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

12

as the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act.

13

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

14

known as the Radiation Protection Act.

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

Act.

20

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

21

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

22

and Reclamation Act.

23

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

24

known as the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act.

25

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

26

known as the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act.

27

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

28

No.165), known as the Hazardous Material Emergency

29

Planning and Response Act.

30

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

- 30 -

 


1

as the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation

2

Standards Act.

3

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

4

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

5

Resources Compact.

6

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

7

to water resources planning)

8

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

9

to environmental laboratory accreditation).

10

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

11

to waste transportation safety).

12

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

13

fish).

14

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

15

game).

16

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

17

interpretation or guidance of a Commonwealth agency

18

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

19

natural resources or the environment.

20

(6)  A decision of a court of this Commonwealth

21

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

22

natural resources or the environment.

23

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

24

recognized hydrologic cycle which occupies the pore spaces and

25

fractures of saturated subsurface materials.

26

"Gas."  Any of the following:

27

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

28

produced in a natural state from the earth and maintains a

29

gaseous or rarified state at standard temperature of 60

30

degrees Fahrenheit and pressure 14.7 PSIA.

- 31 -

 


1

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

2

gases or natural gas liquids.

3

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

4

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

5

device or by injecting bentonitic mud or other equally nonporous

6

material into the well.

7

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

8

horizontal plane.

9

"Oil."  Hydrocarbons in liquid form at standard temperature

10

of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure 14.7 PSIA, also referred

11

to as petroleum.

12

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

13

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

14

the conduct of seismic operations.

15

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

16

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

17

wells.

18

(4)  Generation, processing, treatment, storage,

19

transportation and disposal of fresh water, wastewater,

20

wastes, chemicals and other materials directly associated

21

with drilling, stimulation and completion of oil and gas

22

wells.

23

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

24

(6)  Compression, transportation, processing, measurement

25

and storage of oil or gas.

26

(7)  Reclamation activities.

27

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

28

This paragraph includes equipment directly related to the

29

activities set forth in this paragraph.

30

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

- 32 -

 


1

drilling pads, impoundments, compression stations, processing

2

stations, meter stations and storage tanks. This paragraph

3

includes buildings, facilities or structures, which are

4

directly related to the activities set forth in this

5

paragraph. This paragraph does not include ancillary support,

6

supply and service facilities, the location of which is not

7

dependent on the location of specific wells or pipelines.

8

"Operating coal mine."  Any of the following:

9

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

10

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

11

months immediately preceding the date its status is put in

12

question, including contiguous worked-out or abandoned coal

13

mines to which it is connected underground.

14

(2)  An underground coal mine to be established or

15

reestablished under paragraph (1).

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

operator and from which the present owner, operator or lessee

20

has received no economic benefit other than as a landowner or

21

recipient of a royalty interest from the well.

22

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

23

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

24

assigned to the coal mine under an underground mine permit

25

issued by the Department of Environmental Protection.

26

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

27

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

28

orphan wells, except where the Department of Environmental

29

Protection determines a prior owner or operator benefited from

30

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

- 33 -

 


1

requirements).

2

"Person."  An individual, association, partnership,

3

corporation, political subdivision or agency of the Federal

4

Government, State government or other legal entity.

5

"Petroleum."  Hydrocarbons in liquid form at standard

6

temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure 14.7 PSIA,

7

also referred to as oil.

8

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

9

mine workings or a mined-out area.

10

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

11

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

12

"Reservoir protective area."  The area surrounding a storage

13

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

14

reservoir boundary, unless an alternate area has been designated

15

by the Department of Environmental Protection, which is deemed

16

reasonably necessary to afford protection to the reservoir,

17

under a conference held in accordance with section 3251

18

(relating to conferences).

19

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

20

remaining after development mining has been completed in that

21

section of a coal mine.

22

"Secretary."  The Secretary of Environmental Protection of

23

the Commonwealth.

24

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

25

operate a storage reservoir as an owner or lessee.

26

"Storage reservoir."  That portion of a subsurface geological

27

stratum into which gas is or may be injected for storage

28

purposes or to test suitability of the stratum for storage.

29

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

30

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

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1

geological shale formation existing below the base of the Elk

2

Sandstone or its geologic equivalent stratigraphic interval

3

where oil or gas generally cannot be produced at economic flow

4

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

5

(1)  Vertical or horizontal well bores stimulated by

6

hydraulic fracture treatments.

7

(2)  Using multilateral well bores or other techniques to

8

expose more of the formation of the well bore.

9

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

10

completing a well in an unconventional formation that

11

demonstrates that the withdrawal and use of water sources

12

protects those sources as required by law and protects public

13

health, safety and welfare.

14

"Water purveyor."  Any of the following:

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

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

20

"Water source."

21

(1)  Any of the following:

22

(i)  Waters of this Commonwealth.

23

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

24

purveyor.

25

(iii)  Mine pools and discharges.

26

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

27

completing a well in an unconventional formation.

28

(2)  The term does not include flowback or production

29

waters or other fluids:

30

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

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1

in an unconventional formation; and

2

(ii)  which do not discharge into waters of this

3

Commonwealth.

4

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

5

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

6

petroleum or another liquid related to oil or gas production or

7

storage, including brine disposal, but excluding a bore hole

8

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

9

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

10

used for:

11

(1)  Systems of monitoring, producing or extracting gas

12

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

13

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

14

known as the Solid Waste Management Act, which does not

15

penetrate a workable coal seam.

16

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

17

(i)  used to vent methane to the outside atmosphere

18

from an operating coal mine; regulated as part of the

19

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

20

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

21

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

22

Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act; and drilled by

23

the operator of the operating coal mine for the purpose

24

of increased safety; or

25

(ii)  used to vent methane to the outside atmosphere

26

under a federally funded or State-funded abandoned mine

27

reclamation project.

28

"Well control emergency."  An incident during drilling,

29

operation, workover or completion that, as determined by the

30

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

- 36 -

 


1

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

2

blowout, fire and explosion.

3

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

4

a well control emergency with a current certification from a

5

well control course accredited by the International Association

6

of Drilling Contractors or other organization approved by the

7

department.

8

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

9

(1)  The person designated as operator or well operator

10

on the permit application or well registration.

11

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

12

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

13

or reconditions a well with the purpose of production from

14

the well.

15

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

16

storage of gas, a storage operator.

17

"Wetland."  Areas inundated or saturated by surface or

18

groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support,

19

and which normally support, a prevalence of vegetation typically

20

adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, including swamps,

21

marshes, bogs and similar areas.

22

"Workable coal seams."  A coal seam which:

23

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

24

under this chapter by underground methods; or

25

(2)  in the judgment of the Department of Environmental

26

Protection, can reasonably be expected to be mined by

27

underground methods.

28

SUBCHAPTER B

29

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

30

Sec.

- 37 -

 


1

3211.  Well permits.

2

3212.  Permit objections.

3

3212.1.  Comments by municipalities.

4

3213.  Well registration and identification.

5

3214.  Inactive status.

6

3215.  Well location restrictions.

7

3215.1.  General restrictions.

8

3216.  Well site restoration.

9

3217.  Protection of fresh groundwater and casing requirements.

10

3218.  Protection of water supplies.

11

3219.  Use of safety devices.

12

3219.1.  Well control emergency response.

13

3220.  Plugging requirements.

14

3221.  Alternative methods.

15

3222.  Well reporting requirements.

16

3223.  Notification and effect of well transfer.

17

3224.  Coal operator responsibilities.

18

3225.  Bonding.

19

3226.  Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board.

20

3227.  AIR CONTAINMENT EMISSIONS.

21

§ 3211.  Well permits.

22

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

23

except for alterations which satisfy the requirements of

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

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

28

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

29

permit to redrill a nonproducing well if the redrilling:

30

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

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1

from the department authorizing cleaning out and plugging or

2

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

3

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

4

and Gas Resource Coordination Act; and

5

(2)  is incidental to a plugging or replugging operation

6

and the well is plugged within 15 days of redrilling.

7

(b)  Plat.--

8

(1)  The permit application shall be accompanied by a

9

plat prepared by a competent engineer or a competent

10

surveyor, on forms furnished by the department, showing the

11

political subdivision and county in which the tract of land

12

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

13

municipalities adjacent to the well site; the name of the

14

surface landowner of record and lessor; the name of all

15

surface landowners and water purveyors whose water supplies

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

operator of all known underlying workable coal seams; the

20

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

21

the well determined by survey, courses and distances of the

22

location from two or more permanent identifiable points or

23

landmarks on the tract boundary corners; the proposed angle

24

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

25

substantially from a vertical course; the number or other

26

identification to be given the well; the workable coal seams

27

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

28

drilled or altered and which shall be cased off under section

29

3217 (relating to protection of fresh groundwater and casing

30

requirements); and any other information needed by the

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1

department to administer this chapter.

2

(2)  no later than 30 days prior to submitting the

3

application required in subsection (a), the applicant shall

4

forward by certified mail a copy of the plat to the surface

5

landowner; the municipality in which the tract of land upon

6

which the well to be drilled is located; the municipalities

7

adjacent to the well; all surface landowners and water

8

purveyors, whose water supplies are within 1,000 feet of the

9

proposed well location or, in the case of an unconventional

10

well, within 2,500 feet of the proposed well location; the

11

owner and lessee of any coal seams; and each coal operator

12

required to be identified on the well permit application.

13

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

14

notification with the well permit application. Notification of

15

surface owners shall be performed by sending notice to those

16

persons to whom the tax notices for the surface property are

17

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

18

which the property is located. Notification of surface

19

landowners or water purveyors whose water supplies are within

20

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

21

in a manner prescribed by the department, sufficient to identify

22

the rights afforded those persons under section 3218 (relating

23

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

24

advantages of taking their own predrilling or prealteration

25

survey.

26

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

27

written approval of the proposed well location by the surface

28

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

29

underlying the proposed well location and no objections are

30

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

- 40 -

 


1

approval has been submitted and no objections are made to the

2

proposed well location within 15 days from receipt of notice by

3

the department, the surface landowner or any coal operator,

4

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

5

a permanent record of the well location, subject to inspection

6

at any time by any interested person.

7

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

8

corporation, partnership or person that is not a resident of

9

this Commonwealth, the applicant shall designate the name and

10

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

11

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

12

Commonwealth upon whom notices, orders or other communications

13

issued under this chapter may be served and upon whom process

14

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

15

under this section shall, within five days after termination of

16

the designation, notify the department of the termination and

17

designate a new agent.

18

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

19

accompanied by a permit fee, established by regulation of the

20

department, which bears a reasonable relationship to the cost of

21

administering this chapter.

22

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

23

within 45 days of submission of a permit application unless the

24

department denies the permit application for one or more of the

25

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

26

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

27

for cause shown upon notification to the applicant of the

28

reasons for the extension. The department may impose permit

29

terms and conditions necessary to assure compliance with this

30

chapter or other laws administered by the department.

- 41 -

 


1

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

2

for any of the following reasons:

3

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

4

violation of any of this chapter or issuance of the permit

5

would result in a violation of this chapter or other

6

applicable law.

7

(2)  The permit application is incomplete.

8

(3)  Unresolved objections to the well location by coal

9

mine owner or operator remain.

10

(4)  The requirements of section 3225 (relating to

11

bonding) have not been met.

12

(5)  The department finds that the applicant, or any

13

parent or subsidiary corporation of the applicant, is in

14

continuing violation of this subchapter, any other statute

15

administered by the department, any rule or regulation

16

promulgated under this subchapter or a statute administered

17

by the department or any plan approval, permit or order of

18

the department, unless the violation is being corrected to

19

the satisfaction of the department. The right of the

20

department to deny a permit under this paragraph shall not

21

take effect until the department has taken a final action on

22

the violations and:

23

(i)  the applicant has not appealed the final

24

action in accordance with the act of July 13, 1988

25

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

26

Board Act; or

27

(ii)  if an appeal has been filed, no supersedeas

28

has been issued.

29

(f)  Drilling.--

30

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

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1

drill at the location shown on the plat after providing the

2

department, the surface landowner and the local political

3

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

4

notice of the date that drilling will commence.

5

(2)  The unconventional well operator shall provide the

6

department 24 hours' notice prior to cementing all casing

7

strings, conducting pressure tests of the production casing,

8

stimulation and abandoning or plugging an unconventional

9

well.

10

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

11

drilled as part of the same development project, only the

12

first well of the project need be located by survey.

13

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

14

a manner prescribed by regulation.

15

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

16

well operator shall notify the department and provide

17

reasonable notice of the date on which drilling will

18

commence.

19

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

20

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

21

operator encounters conditions of a nature which renders

22

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

23

more hazardous than usual, the well operator, upon verbal

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

location of the new bore hole does not violate section 3215

28

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

29

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

30

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

- 43 -

 


1

location complies with existing laws, regulations and spacing

2

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

3

nearest lease boundary.

4

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

5

hole, the well operator shall file with the department a

6

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

7

completion report, a plugging certificate for the original

8

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

9

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

10

amended plat to the surface landowner identified on the well

11

permit application within ten days of commencement of the new

12

well bore.

13

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

14

address and telephone number shall be conspicuously posted at

15

the drilling site prior to commencement of drilling.

16

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

17

number issued by the department in a legible, visible and

18

permanent manner on the well upon completion.

19

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

20

under this chapter shall expire one year after issuance unless

21

operations for drilling the well are commenced within the period

22

and pursued with due diligence or unless the permit is renewed

23

in accordance with regulations of the department. If drilling is

24

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

25

remain in force until the well is plugged in accordance with

26

section 3220 (relating to plugging requirements) or the permit

27

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

28

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

29

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

30

accordance with section 3220. Nothing in this subsection shall

- 44 -

 


1

be construed to rescind the provisions pertaining to drilling

2

permits contained in Chapter 34.

3

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

4

establish by regulation certain categories of alterations of

5

permitted or registered wells for which permitting requirements

6

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

7

proposes to conduct the alteration activity shall first obtain a

8

permit or registration modification from the department. The

9

Environmental Quality Board shall promulgate regulations as to

10

the requirements for modifications.

11

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

12

section or registration issued under section 3213 (relating to

13

well registration and identification) may be transferred without

14

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

15

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

16

the department. The department shall approve or deny a transfer

17

request within 45 days of receipt of a complete and accurate

18

application. The department may deny a request only for reasons

19

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

20

request shall permanently transfer responsibility to plug the

21

well under section 3220 to the recipient of the transferred

22

permit or registration.

23

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

24

establish by regulation requirements for the permitting and

25

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

26

conduct abandoned or orphan well operations shall first obtain a

27

permit to operate an abandoned or orphan well.

28

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

29

management:

30

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

- 45 -

 


1

sources within this Commonwealth for the drilling or

2

hydraulic fracture stimulation of any natural gas well

3

completed in an unconventional gas formation, whether on or

4

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

5

accordance with a water management plan approved by the

6

department.

7

(2)  The department shall review and approve water

8

management plans based upon a determination that the proposed

9

withdrawal, when operated in accordance with the proposed

10

withdrawal operating conditions set forth in the plan,

11

including conditions relating to quantity, withdrawal rate

12

and timing and any passby flow conditions, will:

13

(i)  not adversely affect the quantity or quality of

14

water available to other users of the same water sources;

15

(ii)  protect and maintain the designated and

16

existing uses of water sources; and

17

(iii)  not cause adverse impact to water quality in

18

the watershed considered as a whole.

19

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

20

presumed to be achieved if the proposed water withdrawal

21

has been approved by and is operated in accordance with

22

conditions established by the Susquehanna River Basin

23

Commission, the Delaware River Basin Commission or the

24

Great Lakes Commission, as applicable.

25

(ii)  Notwithstanding subparagraph (i), the

26

department may establish additional requirements as

27

necessary to comply with the laws of this Commonwealth.

28

(4)  In addition to the requirements under paragraphs

29

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

30

management plan shall be a condition of any permit issued

- 46 -

 


1

under this chapter for the drilling or hydraulic fracture

2

stimulation of any natural gas well completed in an

3

unconventional formation and shall be deemed to satisfy the

4

laws of this Commonwealth.

5

§ 3212.  Permit objections.

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

surface landowner affected shall be notified of the intent to

10

drill and may file objections, in accordance with section 3251

11

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

12

location violates section 3215 (relating to well location

13

restrictions) or that information in the application is untrue

14

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

15

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

16

notice by the surface owner shall be presumed to have occurred

17

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

18

operator submits a copy of the certified mail receipt sent to

19

the surface owner and an affidavit certifying that the address

20

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

21

address listed in the assessment books in the county where the

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

landowner is filed with the department and no objection is

26

raised by the department within 15 days of filing, the

27

department shall proceed to issue or deny the permit.

28

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

29

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

30

operating coal mine or a coal mine already projected and platted

- 47 -

 


1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

operator affected may file objections under section 3251 to the

6

proposed location within 15 days of the receipt by the coal

7

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

8

alternative location at which the proposed well could be drilled

9

to overcome the objections shall be indicated. If no objection

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

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

15

the department shall proceed to issue or deny the permit.

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

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

20

to allow the parties to consider the objection and attempt to

21

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

22

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

23

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

24

judgment of the department, the well can be safely drilled

25

without unduly interfering with or endangering the mine as

26

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

27

parties or determined by the department shall be indicated on

28

the plat on file with the department and become a permanent

29

record upon which the department shall proceed to issue or deny

30

the permit.

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1

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

2

operations, the coal operator shall accurately locate the well

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

operator.

7

§ 3212.1.  Comments by municipalities.

8

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

9

upon which the unconventional well to be drilled is located may

10

submit written comments to the department describing local

11

conditions or circumstances which the municipality has

12

determined should be considered by the department in rendering

13

its determination on the unconventional well permit. A comment

14

under this subsection must be submitted to the department within

15

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

16

(relating to well permits). The municipality shall

17

simultaneously forward a copy of its comments to the permit

18

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

19

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

20

written response must be submitted to the department within ten

21

days of receipt of the comments of the municipality.

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

restrictions).

26

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

27

this section shall not extend the time period for the issuance

28

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

29

chapter.

30

§ 3213.  Well registration and identification.

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1

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

2

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

3

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

4

which no drilling permit has been issued by the department,

5

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

6

operator who registers under this subsection and a well owner or

7

operator who has previously registered a well under this chapter

8

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

9

property which the well owner or operator owns or leases and

10

request approval from the department for classification of the

11

well as an orphan well. Information regarding wells to be

12

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

13

manner prescribed by the department, and shall include:

14

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

15

the well operator is a corporation, partnership or person

16

nonresident of this Commonwealth, the name and address of an

17

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

18

other communications issued under this chapter may be served.

19

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

20

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

21

topographic map or any other location description sufficient

22

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

23

(3)  The approximate date of drilling and completing the

24

well, its approximate depth and producing horizons, well

25

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

26

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

27

bonding or other evidence of financial security submitted by

28

the well operator and deemed appropriate by the department

29

and satisfying the requirements of section 3225 (relating to

30

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

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1

financial security shall be required for identification of an

2

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

3

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

4

years to comply with the provisions of this paragraph.

5

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

6

registration fee of $250 for multiple well registration

7

applications submitted simultaneously. The registration fee

8

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

9

charged for identification of an orphan well.

10

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

11

operator or other person discovering an abandoned well on

12

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

13

other person shall identify it to the department within 60 days

14

of discovery and advise the department that he is seeking

15

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

16

required for identification.

17

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

18

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

19

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

20

The department may adopt and promulgate guidelines designed to

21

ensure a fair implementation of this section, recognizing the

22

practical difficulties of locating unpermitted wells and

23

complying with the reporting requirements of this chapter.

24

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

25

shall install the registration number issued by the department

26

in a legible, conspicuous and permanent manner on the well

27

within 60 days of issuance.

28

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

29

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

30

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

- 51 -

 


1

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

2

control over, the drilling or extraction operation of the

3

abandoned well.

4

§ 3214.  Inactive status.

5

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

6

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

7

or registered well, if the following requirements are met:

8

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

9

damage to the producing zone or contamination of fresh water

10

or other natural resources or surface leakage of any

11

substance;

12

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

13

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

14

adequate to protect freshwater aquifers, unless the

15

department determines the well poses a threat to the health

16

and safety of persons or property or to the environment;

17

(3)  the operator anticipates construction of a pipeline

18

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

19

gas storage, approved disposal or other appropriate uses

20

related to oil and gas well production; and

21

(4)  the applicant satisfies the bonding requirements of

22

sections 3213 (relating to well registration and

23

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

24

the department may require additional financial security for

25

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

26

bonding under section 3225(d).

27

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

28

inactive status shall be responsible for monitoring the

29

mechanical integrity of the well to ensure that the requirements

30

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

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1

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

2

prescribed by departmental regulations.

3

(c)  (Reserved).

4

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

5

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

6

3220 (relating to plugging requirements) or returned to active

7

status within five years of the date inactive status was

8

granted, unless the owner or operator applies for an extension

9

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

10

if the department determines that the owner or operator has

11

demonstrated ability to continue meeting the requirements of

12

this section and the owner or operator certifies that the well

13

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

14

owner or operator who has been granted inactive status for a

15

well which is returned to active status prior to expiration of

16

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

17

the department that the well has been returned to active status

18

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

19

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

20

operator may make application to return the well to inactive

21

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

22

basis if the department determines that the owner or operator

23

has demonstrated an ability to continue meeting the requirements

24

of this section and the owner or operator certifies that the

25

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

26

The department shall approve or deny an application to extend a

27

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

28

within 60 days of receipt of the application, and the

29

application shall not be unreasonably denied. If the department

30

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

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1

the inactive status shall continue until the department has made

2

a determination on the request. If the department denies an

3

application to extend the period of inactive status or to return

4

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

5

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

6

Environmental Hearing Board within 30 days of receipt of the

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

during the period of the appeal.

12

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

13

revoke inactive status and order immediate plugging of a well if

14

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

15

promulgated under this chapter or if the owner or operator

16

demonstrates inability to perform obligations under this chapter

17

or becomes financially insolvent, or upon receipt by the

18

department of notice of bankruptcy proceedings by the permittee.

19

§ 3215.  Well location restrictions.

20

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

21

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

22

horizontally from the vertical well bore to a building or water

23

well, existing when the copy of the plat is mailed as required

24

by section 3211(b) (relating to well permits) without written

25

consent of the owner of the building or water well.

26

Unconventional gas wells may not be drilled within 1,000 feet

27

measured horizontally from the vertical well bore to any

28

existing water well, surface water intake, reservoir or other

29

water supply extraction point used by a water purveyor without

30

the written consent of the water purveyor. If consent is not

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1

obtained and the distance restriction would deprive the owner of

2

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

3

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

4

be granted a variance from the distance restriction upon

5

submission of a plan identifying the additional measures,

6

facilities or practices as prescribed by the department to be

7

employed during well site construction, drilling and operations.

8

The variance, if granted, shall include additional terms and

9

conditions required by the department to ensure safety and

10

protection of affected persons and property, including

11

insurance, bonding, indemnification and technical requirements.

12

(b)  Limitation.--

13

(1)  No well may be drilled within 100 feet, or, in the

14

case of an unconventional well, 300 feet measured

15

horizontally from any solid blue lined stream as identified

16

on the most current 7 1/2 minute topographic quadrangle map

17

of the United States Geological Survey.

18

(2)  The edge of the disturbed area associated with any

19

unconventional well must maintain a 100-foot setback from the

20

edge of any solid blue lined stream as identified on the most

21

current 7 1/2 minute topographic quadrangle map of the United

22

States Geological Survey.

23

(3)  No unconventional well may be drilled within 300

24

feet of any wetlands greater than one acre in size, and the

25

edge of the disturbed area must maintain a 100-foot setback

26

from the boundary of the wetlands.

27

(4)  The department shall waive the distance restrictions

28

upon submission of a plan identifying additional measures,

29

facilities or practices to be employed during well site

30

construction, drilling and operations. The waiver shall impose  

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1

permit conditions necessary to protect the waters of this

2

Commonwealth.

3

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

4

department shall consider impact of the proposed well on public

5

resources, including, but not limited to:

6

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

7

wildlife areas.

8

(2)  National or State scenic rivers.

9

(3)  National natural landmarks.

10

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

11

other critical communities.

12

(5)  Historical and archaeological sites listed on the

13

Federal or State list of historic places.

14

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

15

may consider the comments submitted under section 3212.1

16

(relating to comments by municipalities) in making a

17

determination on a well permit. Notwithstanding any other law,

18

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

19

review from the department's decision.

20

(e)  Regulation criteria.--The Environmental Quality Board

21

shall develop by regulation criteria:

22

(1)  For the department to utilize for conditioning a

23

well permit based on its impact to the public resources

24

identified under subsection (c) and for ensuring optimal

25

development of oil and gas resources and respecting property

26

rights of oil and gas owners.

27

(2)  For appeal to the Environmental Hearing Board of a

28

permit containing conditions imposed by the department. The

29

regulations shall also provide that the department has the

30

burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the

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1

conditions were necessary to protect against a probable

2

harmful impact of the public resources.

3

(3)  For processes and procedures for the adjudication of

4

compensation claims of affected owners, if any conditions or

5

restrictions imposed by application of the criteria developed

6

under paragraph (1) deprive the owner of the oil and gas

7

rights, in part or in whole, of the right to produce or share

8

in the oil as gas underlying the surface tract or tracts

9

affected by imposition of any condition or conditions.

10

(f)  Floodplains.--

11

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

12

any floodplain if the well site will have:

13

(i)  a pit or impoundment containing drilling

14

cuttings, flowback water, produced water or hazardous

15

materials, chemicals or wastes within the floodplain; or

16

(ii)  a tank containing hazardous materials,

17

chemicals, condensate, wastes, flowback or produced water

18

within the floodway.

19

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

20

restriction waiver if the well site will have a tank

21

containing condensate, flowback or produced water within the

22

flood fringe unless all the tanks have adequate floodproofing

23

in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program

24

standards and accepted engineering practices.

25

(3)  The department may waive restrictions upon

26

submission of a plan that shall identify the additional

27

measures, facilities or practices to be employed during well

28

site construction, drilling and operations. The waiver, if

29

granted, shall impose permit conditions necessary to protect

30

the waters of this Commonwealth.

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1

(4)  Best practices to ensure the protection of the

2

waters of this Commonwealth must be utilized for the storage

3

and handling of all water, chemicals, fuels, hazardous

4

materials or solid waste on a well site located in a

5

floodplain. The department may request that the well site

6

operator submit a plan for the storage and handling of

7

materials for approval by the department and may impose

8

conditions or amend permits to include permit conditions as

9

are necessary to protect the environment, public health and

10

safety.

11

(5)  Unless otherwise specified by the department, the

12

boundary of the floodplain shall be as indicated on maps and

13

flood insurance studies provided by the Federal Emergency

14

Management Agency. In an area where no Federal Emergency

15

Management Agency maps or studies have defined the boundary

16

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

17

contrary, the floodplain shall extend from:

18

(i)  any perennial stream up to 100 feet horizontally

19

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

20

(ii)  from any intermittent stream up to 50 feet

21

horizontally from the top of the bank of the intermittent

22

stream.

23

(g)  Existing wells and pads.--Subsections (a) and (b) shall

24

not apply to any of the following:

25

(1)  A well for which a valid permit exists as of the

26

effective date of this subsection.

27

(2)  A well permit application submitted after the

28

effective date of this subsection for a well that will be

29

located on a wellpad upon which a well has been drilled under

30

a valid permit that was approved before the effective date of

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1

this subsection.

2

§ 3215.1.  General restrictions.

3

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

4

at natural gas compressed stations, dehydration and processing

5

facilities and other central processing facilities to secure all

6

permanent buildings, facilities, structures and equipment and to

7

protect the public. Warning signs shall be placed on the

8

security fencing providing notice of potential dangers and

9

providing contact information in case of an emergency.

10

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

11

temporary operations, such as well drilling and completion

12

operations:

13

(1)  Except as provided under paragraph (2), temporary

14

security fencing shall be installed at the oil or gas well

15

site to secure all buildings, facilities, structures and

16

equipment at the site and to protect the public. Warning

17

signs shall be placed at the well site providing notice of

18

potential dangers and providing contact information in case

19

of an emergency.

20

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

21

well owner or operator may establish 24-hour security

22

staffing at the site and install a security gate at the

23

entrance of the access road to prevent unauthorized access.

24

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

25

buildings, facilities and structures directly related to oil and

26

gas operations, either temporary or permanent, shall be directed

27

downward and inward toward the activity, to the extent

28

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

29

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

30

facility or structure.

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1

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

2

comply with all applicable noise regulations promulgated by the

3

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, except that the noise

4

level from permanent oil and gas operations may not exceed 60

5

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

6

oil and gas operations are being conducted. Any compressor

7

situate within 2,500 feet of a dwelling shall be in a soundproof

8

building such that the noise level immediately outside such

9

building does not exceed 60 dBA.

10

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

11

comply with each applicable environmental law governing the

12

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

13

discharge of gases, vapors and odors during oil and gas

14

operations may not unreasonably interfere with the comfortable

15

enjoyment of life or property.

16

(f)  Applicability.--This section shall only apply to

17

unconventional natural gas wells.

18

§ 3216.  Well site restoration.

19

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

20

shall restore the land surface within the area disturbed in

21

siting, drilling, completing and producing the well.

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

erosion and sedimentation control measures shall be implemented

26

in accordance with an erosion and sedimentation control plan

27

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

28

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

29

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

30

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

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1

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

2

used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove

3

all drilling supplies and equipment not needed for production.

4

Drilling supplies and equipment not needed for production may be

5

stored on the well site if express written consent of the

6

surface landowner is obtained.

7

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

8

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

9

all production or storage facilities, supplies and equipment and

10

restore the well site.

11

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

12

this chapter or in regulations promulgated under this chapter

13

shall also comply with all applicable provisions of The Clean

14

Streams Law.

15

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

16

as required in this chapter or regulations promulgated under

17

this chapter constitutes a violation of this chapter.

18

(g)  Extension.--

19

(1)  The restoration period may be extended by the

20

department for an additional period of time not to exceed two

21

years upon demonstration by the well owner or operator that:

22

(i)  the extension will result in less earth

23

disturbance, increased water reuse or more efficient

24

development of the resources; or

25

(ii)  site restoration cannot be achieved due to

26

adverse weather conditions or a lack of essential fuel,

27

equipment or labor.

28

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

29

of the following:

30

(i)  Include a site restoration plan that shall

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1

provide for:

2

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

3

to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes;

4

(B)  the removal of all drilling supplies and

5

equipment not needed for production;

6

(C)  the stabilization of the well site that

7

shall include interim postconstruction storm water

8

management best management practices; or

9

(D)  other measures to be employed to minimize

10

accelerated erosion and sedimentation in accordance

11

with The Clean Streams Law.

12

(ii)  Provide for returning the portions of the site

13

not occupied by production facilities or equipment to

14

approximate original contours and making them capable of

15

supporting the uses that existed prior to drilling the

16

well.

17

(3)  The department may condition an extension under this

18

subsection as is necessary in accordance with The Clean

19

Streams Law.

20

§ 3217.  Protection of fresh groundwater and casing

21

requirements.

22

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

23

groundwater, well operators shall control and dispose of brines

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

or regulation promulgated under The Clean Streams Law.

28

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

29

sources of fresh groundwater and pollution or diminution of

30

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

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1

and permanently cemented in each well drilled through the fresh

2

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

3

regulation by the department.

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

been removed in a manner prescribed by regulation of the

9

department. The department and the coal operator, owner or

10

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

11

commencement of work protecting the mine.

12

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

13

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

14

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

15

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

16

the points and in the manner prescribed by regulation to exclude

17

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

18

naturally in the seam itself, and to enable monitoring the

19

integrity of the production casing.

20

§ 3218.  Protection of water supplies.

21

(a)  General rule.--In addition to the requirements of

22

subsection (c.1), a well operator who affects a public or

23

private water supply by pollution or diminution shall restore or

24

replace the affected supply with an alternate source of water

25

adequate in quantity or quality for the purposes served by the

26

supply. The department shall ensure the restored or replaced

27

water supply meets the applicable water quality standards

28

consistent with the Safe Drinking Water Act (Public Law 93-523,

29

21 U.S.C. § 349 and 42 U.S.C. §§ 201 and 300f et seq.), the act

30

of May 1, 1984 (P.L.206, No.43), known as the Pennsylvania Safe

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1

Drinking Water Act, and predrilling or alteration water quality

2

standards as determined by the department. The Environmental

3

Quality Board shall promulgate regulations necessary to meet the

4

requirements of this subsection.

5

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

6

water purveyor suffering pollution or diminution of a water

7

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

8

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

9

an investigation be conducted. Within ten days of notification,

10

the department shall investigate the claim and make a

11

determination within 45 days following notification. If the

12

department finds that the pollution or diminution was caused by

13

drilling, alteration or operation activities or if it presumes

14

the well operator responsible for pollution under subsection

15

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

16

necessary to assure compliance with subsection (a), including

17

orders requiring temporary replacement of a water supply where

18

it is determined that pollution or diminution may be of limited

19

duration.

20

(b.1)  Survey.--Upon a written request by any landowner

21

residing within 5,500 feet but farther than 2,500 feet of a

22

proposed gas well using hydraulic fracturing, the well permit

23

applicant shall conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey,

24

using a facility or laboratory certified by the department, and

25

send a copy of the survey by certified mail to the requester. A

26

predrilling or prealteration survey shall provide at a minimum

27

the testing results for chemicals or chemical compounds known to

28

be commonly used for hydraulic fracturing, including all major

29

cations and anions, arsenic, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene,

30

xylenes, manganese, dissolved methane, total dissolved solids,

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1

chlorides, nutrients and radionuclides.

2

(b.2)  Telephone number.--The department shall establish a

3

single Statewide toll-free telephone number that persons may use

4

to report cases of water contamination. The Statewide toll-free

5

telephone number shall be provided in a conspicuous manner in

6

the notification required under section 201(b) and on the

7

department's Internet website.

8

(b.3)  Responses.--The department shall develop appropriate

9

administrative responses to calls received on the Statewide

10

toll-free number for water contamination.

11

(b.4)  Website.--The department shall establish a website

12

that lists the confirmed cases of water supply contamination

13

that result from hydraulic fracturing.

14

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

15

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

16

responsible for pollution of a water supply if:

17

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

18

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

19

or gas well; and

20

(ii)  the pollution occurred within six months after

21

completion of drilling or alteration of the oil or gas

22

well; or

23

(2)  in the case of an unconventional well:

24

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

25

unconventional well; and

26

(ii)  the pollution occurred within 12 months of the

27

later of completion, drilling or alteration of the

28

unconventional well.

29

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

30

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

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1

the following:

2

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

3

(i)  the pollution existed prior to the drilling or

4

alteration activity as determined by a predrilling or

5

prealteration survey;

6

(ii)  the landowner or water purveyor refused to

7

allow the operator access to conduct a predrilling or

8

prealteration survey;

9

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

10

the well;

11

(iv)  the pollution occurred more than six months

12

after completion of drilling or alteration activities;

13

and

14

(v)  the pollution occurred as the result of a cause

15

other than the drilling or alteration activity; or

16

(2)  in the case of an unconventional well:

17

(i)  the pollution existed prior to the drilling or

18

alteration activity as determined by a predrilling or

19

prealteration survey;

20

(ii)  the landowner or water purveyor refused to

21

allow the operator access to conduct a predrilling or

22

prealteration survey;

23

(iii)  the water supply is not within 2,500 feet of

24

the well; and

25

(iv)  the pollution occurred more than 12 months

26

after completion of drilling or alteration activities.

27

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

28

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

29

retain an independent certified laboratory to conduct a

30

predrilling or prealteration survey of the water supply. A copy

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1

of survey results shall be submitted to the department and the

2

landowner or water purveyor in the manner prescribed by the

3

department.

4

(e.1)  Notice.--An operator must provide written notice to

5

the landowner or water purveyor indicating that the presumption

6

established under subsection (c) may be void if the landowner or

7

water purveyor refused to allow the operator access to conduct a

8

predrilling or prealteration survey.

9

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

10

prevent a landowner or water purveyor claiming pollution or

11

diminution of a water supply from seeking any other remedy at

12

law or in equity.

13

§ 3219.  Use of safety devices.

14

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

15

it with casings of sufficient strength, and other safety devices

16

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

17

department, and shall use every effort and endeavor effectively

18

to prevent blowouts, explosions and fires.

19

§ 3219.1.  Well control emergency response.

20

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

21

well control specialists in order to provide adequate emergency

22

response services in the event of a well control emergency.

23

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

24

a well control specialist with which the department has entered

25

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

26

liability for actions taken in good faith to carry out its

27

contractual obligations.

28

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

29

damage arising from any of the following:

30

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

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1

(2)  An intentional tort.

2

(3)  Gross negligence.

3

§ 3220.  Plugging requirements.

4

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

5

operator shall plug it in the manner prescribed by regulation of

6

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

7

well bore, unless the department has granted inactive status for

8

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

9

well. If the department determines that a prior owner or

10

operator received economic benefit, other than economic benefit

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

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

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

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

20

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

21

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

22

well shall be plugged from that depth in accordance with section

23

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

24

the Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act, and the regulations

25

of the department.

26

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

27

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

28

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

29

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

30

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

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1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

to the notice of abandonment filed with the department under

9

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

10

operator has fully complied with this section, the well operator

11

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

12

prescribed by regulation of the department. When plugging has

13

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

14

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

15

qualified people who participated in the work setting forth the

16

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

17

certificate shall be mailed to each coal operator, lessee or

18

owner to whom notice was given by certified mail and another

19

shall be mailed to the department.

20

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

21

an uncompleted bore hole plugged immediately upon suspension of

22

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

23

well operator shall notify the department of the intention to

24

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

25

furnished by the department, showing the location of the well

26

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

27

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

28

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

29

representative to be present at the plugging. The notice or

30

waiting period may be verbally waived by the department. In

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1

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

2

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

3

plugged, the department shall be given three working days'

4

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

5

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

6

of subsequent wells, no additional notice shall be required if

7

plugging on the project is continuous. If plugging of subsequent

8

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

9

department of continuation of the project. Whether or not a

10

representative attends, if the well operator has fully complied

11

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

12

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

13

of the department. When plugging has been completed, a

14

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

15

department, by two experienced and qualified people who

16

participated in the work setting forth the time and manner in

17

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

18

mailed to the department.

19

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

20

is to be abandoned immediately after completion of drilling, the

21

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

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

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

28

operator has fully complied with the requirements of this

29

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

30

plug the well in the manner provided by regulation of the

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1

department. The well operator shall prepare the certificate of

2

plugging and mail copies of the same as provided in subsection

3

(b).

4

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

5

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

6

registered under section 3213 (relating to well registration and

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

recover the costs of plugging. The department shall make an

11

effort to determine ownership of a well which is in operation

12

but has not been registered and provide written notice to the

13

owner of pending action under this subsection. If the department

14

cannot determine ownership within 30 days, it may proceed under

15

this subsection. Costs of plugging shall have priority over all

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

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

20

owner or operator of the abandoned or unregistered well shall be

21

liable for the additional costs.

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

the drilling or extraction operation of the abandoned well.

27

§ 3221.  Alternative methods.

28

A well operator may request permission to use a method or

29

material other than those required by this chapter for casing,

30

plugging or equipping a well in an application to the department

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1

which describes the proposed alternative in reasonable detail

2

and indicates the manner in which it will accomplish the goals

3

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

4

given by the well operator by certified mail to any affected

5

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

6

objections to the proposed alternative method or material. If no

7

timely objections are filed or raised by the department, the

8

department shall determine whether to allow use of the proposed

9

alternative method or material.

10

§ 3222.  Well reporting requirements.

11

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

12

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

13

provided by the department, an annual report specifying the

14

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

15

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

16

years only changes in status must be reported. The Commonwealth

17

may utilize reported information in enforcement proceedings, in

18

making designations or determinations under section 1927-A of

19

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

20

Administrative Code of 1929, or in aggregate form for

21

statistical purposes.

22

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

23

unconventional well shall file with the department, on a form

24

provided by the department, a semiannual report specifying the

25

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

26

The initial report under this subsection shall be filed on or

27

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

28

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

29

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

30

Subsequent semiannual reports shall be filed with the department

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1

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

2

include production data from the preceding reporting period. The

3

Commonwealth may utilize reported information in enforcement

4

proceedings, in making designations or determinations under

5

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

6

aggregate form for statistical purposes. Beginning November 1,

7

2010, the department shall make the reports available on its

8

publicly accessible Internet website. Costs incurred by the

9

department to comply with the requirements of this subsection

10

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

11

(relating to well permits).

12

(b)  Collection of data.--

13

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

14

drilled or altered.

15

(2)  A record containing the information required by the

16

department shall be filed within 30 days of cessation of

17

drilling of each well.

18

(3)  A completion report containing any additional

19

required information shall be filed within 30 days after

20

completing the well and shall be kept on file by the

21

department.

22

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

23

stimulation record. At a minimum, the stimulation record

24

shall contain pump rates, pressures, total volume used to

25

stimulate the well, a list of hazardous and other

26

chemicals used to stimulate the well, volume of water

27

used, identification of water sources used under a

28

department-approved water management plan and depth at

29

which potable aquifers are encountered during drilling.

30

The well operator may designate specific portions of the

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1

stimulation record as containing a trade secret or

2

confidential proprietary information. The department

3

shall prevent disclosure of designated confidential

4

information to the extent permitted under the act of

5

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

6

Know Law.

7

(ii)  The completion report shall identify:

8

(A)  whether methane was encountered in other

9

than a target formation; and

10

(B)  the country of origin and manufacture of the

11

steel products used in the construction of the well.

12

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

13

the department and posted on the department's publicly

14

accessible Internet website.

15

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

16

shall, within 90 days of completion or recompletion of

17

drilling, submit a copy of any electrical, radioactive or

18

other standard industry logs which have been run. No

19

information under this paragraph shall be required unless the

20

well operator has compiled the information in the ordinary

21

course of business.

22

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

23

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

24

formation water analysis, porosity, permeability or fluid

25

saturation measurements, core analysis and lithologic log or

26

sample description or other similar data as compiled. No

27

information under this paragraph shall be required unless the

28

well operator had it compiled in the ordinary course of

29

business, and interpretation of data under this paragraph is

30

not required to be filed.

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1

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

2

the department prior to commencement of drilling, the well

3

operator shall collect any additional data specified by the

4

department, including representative drill cuttings and samples

5

from cores taken and any other geological information that the

6

operator reasonably can compile. Interpretation of the data is

7

not required to be filed.

8

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

9

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

10

shall be retained by the well operator and filed with the

11

department no more than three years after completion of the

12

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

13

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

14

department shall be entitled to utilize information collected

15

under this subsection in enforcement proceedings, in making

16

designations or determinations under section 1927-A of The

17

Administrative Code of 1929 and in aggregate form for

18

statistical purposes.

19

§ 3223.  Notification and effect of well transfer.

20

The owner or operator of a well shall notify the department

21

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

22

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

23

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

24

or operator of an obligation accrued under this chapter, nor

25

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

26

the well until the requirements of section 3225 (relating to

27

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

28

operator shall be relieved from all obligations under this

29

chapter, including the obligation to plug the well.

30

§ 3224.  Coal operator responsibilities.

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1

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

2

other underground materials from, or extending the workings in,

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

prepare and file with the department, showing the pillar which

10

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

11

gas well in the projected workings. Thereafter, the coal

12

operator may proceed with mining operations in the manner

13

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

14

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

15

well location without written approval under this section. If,

16

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

17

indicates that the proposed pillar is inadequate to protect

18

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

19

the affected well operator shall attempt to reach an agreement

20

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

21

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

22

within ten days after receipt of the proposed plan under this

23

section, file objections under section 3251 (relating to

24

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

25

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

26

has none, the department shall grant approval, reciting that

27

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

28

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

29

approved in the manner as projected.

30

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

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1

operator or raised by the department, the department shall order

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

which will satisfy the objections and receive department

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

department, by appropriate order, shall determine the pillar to

13

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

14

section, the department shall follow as nearly as is possible

15

the original plan filed by the coal operator. The department

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

conditions is established. Pillars determined by the department

20

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

21

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

22

pillar to be left for each well.

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

the department shall:

28

(1)  follow the appropriate procedure under subsection

29

(a) or (b);

30

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

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1

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

2

application; and

3

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

4

respect to each well.

5

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

6

of the department after notice and opportunity for a hearing

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

nothing in this chapter shall be construed to:

13

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

14

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

15

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

16

pillar; or

17

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

18

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

19

pay for the coal pillar.

20

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

21

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

22

completely remove any pillar from around that well shall file a

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

approval has been granted by the department in accordance with

27

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

28

shall have the authority to establish conditions under which the

29

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

30

plugged oil or gas well.

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1

§ 3225.  Bonding.

2

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

3

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

4

application for a well permit, and before continuing to

5

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

6

shall file with the department a bond covering the well and

7

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

8

department. A bond filed with an application for a well

9

permit shall be payable to the Commonwealth and conditioned

10

upon the operator's faithful performance of all drilling,

11

water supply replacement, restoration and plugging

12

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

13

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

14

conditioned upon the operator's faithful performance of all

15

water supply replacement, restoration and plugging

16

requirements of this chapter. The amount of the bond required

17

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

18

Environmental Quality Board every two years to reflect the

19

projected costs to the Commonwealth of plugging the well:

20

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

21

than 6,000 feet:

22

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

23

well; but no bond may be required under this clause

24

in excess of $35,000.

25

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

26

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

27

but no bond may be required under this clause in

28

excess of $60,000.

29

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

30

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

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1

but no bond may be required under this clause in

2

excess of $100,000.

3

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

4

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

5

wells; but no bond may be required under this clause

6

in excess of $250,000.

7

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

8

than 6,000 feet:

9

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

10

well; but no bond may be required under this clause

11

in excess of $60,000.

12

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

13

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

14

but no bond may be required under this clause in

15

excess of $120,000.

16

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

17

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

18

but no bond may be required under this clause in

19

excess of $180,000.

20

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

21

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

22

wells; but no bond may be required under this clause

23

in excess of $250,000.

24

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

25

or operator may file a blanket bond for the applicable amount

26

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

27

covering all of its wells in this Commonwealth, as enumerated

28

on the bond form.

29

(3)  Liability under the bond shall continue until the

30

well has been properly plugged in accordance with this

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1

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

2

certificate of plugging with the department. Each bond shall

3

be executed by the operator and a corporate surety licensed

4

to do business in this Commonwealth and approved by the

5

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

6

deposit with the department:

7

(i)  cash;

8

(ii)  certificates of deposit or automatically

9

renewable irrevocable letters of credit, from financial

10

institutions chartered or authorized to do business in

11

this Commonwealth and regulated and examined by the

12

Commonwealth or a Federal agency, which may be terminated

13

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

14

notice by the financial institution to the permittee and

15

the department;

16

(iii)  negotiable bonds of the United States

17

Government or the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Turnpike

18

Commission, the General State Authority, the State Public

19

School Building Authority or any municipality within the

20

Commonwealth; or

21

(iv)  United States Treasury Bonds issued at a

22

discount without a regular schedule of interest payments

23

to maturity, otherwise known as Zero Coupon Bonds, having

24

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

25

of purchase and at the maturity date having a value of

26

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

27

The cash deposit, certificate of deposit, amount of the

28

irrevocable letter of credit or market value of the

29

securities shall be equal at least to the sum of the

30

bond.

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1

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

2

cash, letters of credit or negotiable bonds, immediately

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

is made.

7

(5)  The State Treasurer shall at all times be

8

responsible for custody and safekeeping of deposits. The

9

operator making the deposit shall be entitled from time to

10

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

11

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

12

collateral deposited, upon depositing with the State

13

Treasurer, in lieu of that collateral, other collateral of

14

classes specified in this section having a market value at

15

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

16

receive and recover the interest and income from the

17

negotiable bonds as they become due and payable.

18

(6)  If negotiable bonds on deposit under this subsection

19

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

20

the owner of the bonds, shall convert them into other

21

negotiable bonds, of classes specified in this section,

22

designated by the owner.

23

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

24

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

25

written notice to replace the letter of credit with other

26

acceptable bond guarantees as provided in this section. If

27

the owner or operator fails to timely replace the letter of

28

credit, the department shall draw upon and convert the letter

29

of credit into cash and hold it as a collateral bond

30

guarantee.

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1

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

2

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

3

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

4

Upon release of bonds and collateral under this section, the

5

State Treasurer shall immediately return to the owner the

6

specified amount of cash or securities.

7

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

8

refuses to comply with subsection (a), regulations promulgated

9

under this chapter or conditions of a permit relating to this

10

chapter, the department may declare the bond forfeited and shall

11

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

12

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

13

owner or operator has deposited cash or securities as collateral

14

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

15

collateral forfeited and direct the State Treasurer to pay the

16

full amount of the funds into the Well Plugging Restricted

17

Revenue Account or to sell the security to the extent forfeited

18

and pay the proceeds into the Well Plugging Restricted Revenue

19

Account. If a corporate surety or financial institution fails to

20

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

21

or financial institution shall be disqualified from writing

22

further bonds under this chapter or any other environmental law

23

administered by the department. A person aggrieved by reason of

24

forfeiting the bond or converting collateral, as provided in

25

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

26

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

27

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

28

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

29

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

30

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

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1

submit the replacement bond constitutes a violation of this

2

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

3

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

4

apply:

5

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

6

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

7

required under subsection (a), due to inability to

8

demonstrate sufficient financial resources may, in lieu of

9

the bond:

10

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

11

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

12

or a blanket fee of $1,000 for more than 20 wells, which

13

shall be a nonrefundable fee paid each year that the

14

operator has not filed a bond with the department. All

15

fees collected in lieu of a bond under this subsection

16

shall be used for the purposes authorized by this

17

chapter. The Environmental Quality Board shall have the

18

power, by regulation, to increase the amount of the fees

19

established under this subsection.

20

(ii)  Make phased deposits of collateral to fully

21

collateralize the bond, subject to the following:

22

(A)  Payment shall be based on the number of

23

wells owned or operated. The operator shall make an

24

initial deposit and make annual deposits in

25

accordance with the schedule in clause (B). Interest

26

accumulated by the collateral shall become a part of

27

the bond until the collateral plus accumulated

28

interest equals the amount of the required bond. The

29

collateral shall be deposited, in trust, with the

30

State Treasurer as provided in this subsection or

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1

with a bank selected by the department which shall

2

act as trustee for the benefit of the Commonwealth to

3

guarantee the operator's compliance with the

4

drilling, water supply replacement, restoration and

5

plugging requirements of this chapter. The operator

6

shall be required to pay all costs of the trust.

7

(B)  An operator of up to ten existing wells who

8

does not intend to operate additional wells shall

9

deposit $250 per well and shall, thereafter, annually

10

deposit $50 per well until the obligations of this

11

section are fully met. An operator of 11 to 25 wells

12

or an operator of up to ten wells who applies for one

13

or more permits for additional wells shall deposit

14

$2,000 and shall, thereafter, annually deposit $1,150

15

plus $150 for each additional well to be permitted

16

that year until the obligations of this section are

17

fully met. An operator of 26 to 50 wells shall

18

deposit $3,000 and shall, thereafter, annually

19

deposit $1,300 plus $400 for each additional well to

20

be permitted that year until the obligations of this

21

section are fully met. An operator of 51 to 100 wells

22

shall deposit $4,000 and shall, thereafter, annually

23

deposit $1,500 plus $400 for each additional well to

24

be permitted that year until the obligations of this

25

section are fully met. Operators of 101 to 200 wells

26

shall deposit $8,000 and shall, thereafter, annually

27

deposit $1,600 plus $1,000 for each additional well

28

to be permitted that year until the obligations of

29

this section are fully met. Operators of more than

30

200 wells shall fully bond their wells immediately.

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1

(C)  The department shall reduce the amount of

2

phased collateral payments or the period of time over

3

which phased collateral payments shall be made on

4

behalf of owners or operators who, prior to August 1,

5

1992, have paid a fee in lieu of bond under

6

subparagraph (i), and who, by August 1, 1993, choose

7

to enter the phased collateral program under this

8

subparagraph rather than continue to make payments in

9

lieu of bond. Payments made prior to August 1, 1992,

10

in lieu of bond shall not be credited in any other

11

manner, and the department shall not be required to

12

refund the fees. The Environmental Quality Board, by

13

regulation, may change the annual deposits

14

established under clause (B) if necessary to

15

accommodate a change in the amount of the bond

16

required under this section.

17

(2)  An operator may continue to pay a fee in lieu of

18

bond or make phased deposits of collateral to fully

19

collateralize the bond so long as the operator does not miss

20

a payment under this subsection and remains in compliance

21

with this chapter. If an operator misses a payment under this

22

subsection, the operator shall immediately:

23

(i)  submit the appropriate bond amount in full; or

24

(ii)  cease all operations and plug all wells.

25

(d.1)  Individuals.--The following shall apply:

26

(1)  An individual who is unable to obtain a bond to

27

drill new wells due to inability to demonstrate financial

28

resources may meet the collateral bond requirements of

29

subsection (a) by making phased deposits of collateral to

30

fully collateralize the bond. The individual shall be limited

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1

to drilling ten new wells per calendar year and, for each

2

well to be drilled, deposit $500 and make an annual deposit

3

of 10% of the remaining bond amount for a period of ten

4

years. Interest accumulated shall become a part of the bond

5

until the collateral plus accumulated interest equals the

6

amount of the required bond. The collateral shall be

7

deposited in trust with the State Treasurer under subsection

8

(a) or with a bank selected by the department which shall act

9

as trustee for the benefit of the Commonwealth to guarantee

10

the individual's compliance with the drilling, water supply

11

replacement, restoration and plugging requirements of this

12

chapter. The individual shall pay all costs of the trust.

13

(2)  Individuals may continue to use phased collateral to

14

obtain permits if they have not missed a payment for a well

15

drilled under this provision and remain in compliance with

16

this chapter. If an individual misses a payment, the

17

individual shall:

18

(i)  immediately submit the appropriate bond amount

19

in full; or

20

(ii)  cease all operations and plug all wells.

21

(3)  For purposes of this subsection, an "individual"

22

means a natural person doing business under his own name.

23

(e)  Reservation of remedies.--All remedies violating this

24

chapter, regulations adopted under this chapter and conditions

25

of permits are expressly preserved. Nothing in this section

26

shall be construed as an exclusive penalty or remedy for

27

violations of law. No action taken under this section shall

28

waive or impair any other remedy or penalty provided in law.

29

(f)  Change of law.--Owners or operators who have failed to

30

meet the requirements of this section prior to August 1, 1992,

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1

shall not be required to make payments under this section on a

2

retroactive basis as a condition of obtaining a permit under

3

this chapter, nor shall the failure be deemed a violation of

4

this chapter.

5

§ 3226.  Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board.

6

(a)  Creation of board.--The Oil and Gas Technical Advisory

7

Board is created, consisting of the following members, all of

8

whom shall be chosen by the Governor and shall be residents of

9

this Commonwealth:

10

(1)  Three individuals, each of whom shall be:

11

(i)  a petroleum engineer;

12

(ii)  a petroleum geologist; or

13

(iii)  an experienced driller representative of the

14

oil and gas industry with three years of experience in

15

this Commonwealth.

16

(2)  One mining engineer from the coal industry with

17

three years of experience in this Commonwealth.

18

(3)  One geologist or petroleum engineer with three years

19

of experience in this Commonwealth, who shall be chosen from

20

a list of three names submitted by the Citizens Advisory

21

Council to the Governor and who shall sit as a representative

22

of the public interest.

23

(b)  Reimbursement.--Board members shall not receive a salary

24

but shall be reimbursed for all necessary expenses incurred in

25

the performance of their duties.

26

(c)  Majority vote.--All actions of the board shall be by

27

majority vote. The board shall meet as called by the secretary,

28

but not less than semiannually, to carry out its duties under

29

this chapter. The board shall select a chairman and other

30

officers deemed appropriate.

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1

(d)  Consultation.--The department shall consult with the

2

board in the formulation, drafting and presentation stages of

3

all regulations of a technical nature promulgated under this

4

chapter. The board shall be given a reasonable opportunity to

5

review and comment on all regulations of a technical nature

6

prior to submission to the Environmental Quality Board for

7

initial consideration. The written report of the board shall be

8

presented to the Environmental Quality Board with any regulatory

9

proposal. The chairman of the board shall be invited to

10

participate in the presentation of all regulations of a

11

technical nature before the Environmental Quality Board to the

12

extent allowed by procedures of the Environmental Quality Board.

13

Nothing herein shall preclude any member of the board from

14

filing a petition for rulemaking with the Environmental Quality

15

Board in accordance with procedures established by the

16

Environmental Quality Board.

17

§ 3227.  Air contaminant emissions.

18

(a)  Protocols for air contaminant emissions.--No later than

19

three months after the effective date of this chapter, the

20

department shall publish protocols for the detection,

21

quantification and reporting of air contaminant emissions from

22

unconventional gas production processes including wellhead

23

activities and the storage of unconventional gas prior to

24

processing.

25

(b)  Report on air contaminant emissions.--No later than nine

26

months after the effective date of this chapter, the department

27

shall publish for public comment a draft report quantifying

28

through measurements and calculations the total air contaminant

29

emissions in this Commonwealth from unconventional gas

30

development processes including wellhead activities and the

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1

storage of unconventional gas prior to processing. The

2

department shall publish the final report no later than one year

3

after the effective date of this chapter. The department shall

4

publish a revised report every five years thereafter.

5

(c)  Use of best available scientific principles.--The

6

department shall use best available scientific principles in

7

developing the protocols and reports required by this section.

8

SUBCHAPTER C

9

UNDERGROUND GAS STORAGE

10

Sec.

11

3231.  Reporting requirements for gas storage operations.

12

3232.  Reporting requirements for coal mining operations.

13

3233.  General gas storage reservoir operations.

14

3234.  Gas storage reservoir operations in coal areas.

15

3235.  Inspection of facilities and records.

16

3236.  Reliance on maps and burden of proof.

17

3237.  Exemptions and prohibitions.

18

§ 3231.  Reporting requirements for gas storage operations.

19

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

20

(1)  A person injecting into or storing gas in a storage

21

reservoir underlying or within 3,000 linear feet of a coal

22

mine operating in a coal seam that extends over the storage

23

reservoir or reservoir protective area shall, within 60 days,

24

file with the department a copy of a map and certain data in

25

the form and manner provided in this subsection or as

26

otherwise prescribed by regulation of the department.

27

(2)  A person injecting gas into or storing gas in a

28

storage reservoir which is not under or within 3,000 linear

29

feet of, but less than 10,000 linear feet from, a coal mine

30

operating in a coal seam that extends over the storage

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1

reservoir or reservoir protective area shall file the map and

2

data within 60 days or a longer period set by departmental

3

regulation.

4

(3)  A person proposing to inject or store gas in a

5

storage reservoir located as defined in paragraph (1) or (2)

6

shall file the appropriate required map and data with the

7

department not less than six months prior to starting the

8

actual injection or storage.

9

(4)  A map required by this subsection shall be prepared

10

by a competent engineer or geologist, showing:

11

(i)  the stratum in which the existing or proposed

12

storage reservoir is or is proposed to be located;

13

(ii)  the geographic location of the outside

14

boundaries of the storage reservoir and reservoir

15

protective area;

16

(iii)  the location of all known oil or gas wells in

17

the reservoir or within 3,000 linear feet thereof which

18

have been drilled into or through the storage stratum,

19

indicating which have been or are to be cleaned out and

20

plugged or reconditioned for storage along with the

21

proposed location of all additional wells which are to be

22

drilled within the storage reservoir or within 3,000

23

linear feet thereof.

24

(5)  The following, if available, shall be furnished for

25

all known oil or gas wells which have been drilled into or

26

through the storage stratum within the storage reservoir or

27

within 3,000 linear feet thereof: name of the operator, date

28

drilled, total depth, depth of production if the well was

29

productive of oil or gas, the initial rock pressure and

30

volume, the depths at which all coal seams were encountered

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1

and a copy of the driller's log or other similar information.

2

At the time of the filing of the maps and data, a statement

3

shall be filed:

4

(i)  detailing efforts made to determine that the

5

wells shown are accurately located on the map;

6

(ii)  affirming that the wells shown represent, to

7

the best of the operator's knowledge, all oil or gas

8

wells which have ever been drilled into or below the

9

storage stratum within the proposed storage reservoir or

10

within the reservoir protective area;

11

(iii)  stating whether the initial injection is for

12

testing purposes;

13

(iv)  stating the maximum pressure at which injection

14

and storage of gas is contemplated; and

15

(v)  providing a detailed explanation of the methods

16

to be used or which previously have been used in

17

drilling, cleaning out, reconditioning and plugging wells

18

in the storage reservoir or within the reservoir

19

protective area.

20

(6)  The map and data required to be filed under

21

paragraph (5) shall be amended or supplemented semiannually

22

if material changes occur. The department may require a

23

storage operator to amend or supplement the map or data at

24

more frequent intervals if material changes have occurred

25

justifying the earlier filing.

26

(b)  Other reporting requirements.--A person who is injecting

27

gas into or storing gas in a storage reservoir not at the time

28

subject to subsection (a), by a process other than that of

29

secondary recovery or gas recycling, shall, within 60 days, or a

30

longer period set by departmental regulations, file maps and

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1

data required by departmental regulation and as follows:

2

(1)  A person who, after April 18, 1985, proposes to

3

inject or store gas in a storage reservoir in an area not

4

covered by subsection (a) by a process other than that of

5

secondary recovery or gas recycling shall file the required

6

map and data with the department not less than six months

7

prior to the starting of actual injection or storage.

8

(2)  The map shall be prepared by a competent engineer or

9

competent geologist and show:

10

(i)  the stratum in which the existing or proposed

11

storage reservoir is or is to be located;

12

(ii)  the geographic location of the outside

13

boundaries of the storage reservoir; and

14

(iii)  the location of all known oil or gas wells

15

within the reservoir, or within 3,000 linear feet

16

thereof, which have been drilled into or through the

17

storage stratum, indicating which have been or are to be

18

cleaned out and plugged or reconditioned for storage and

19

the proposed location of all additional wells which are

20

to be drilled within the storage reservoir or within

21

3,000 linear feet thereof.

22

(3)  The following, if available, shall be furnished for

23

all known oil or gas wells which have been drilled into or

24

through the storage stratum within the storage reservoir or

25

within 3,000 linear feet thereof: name of the operator, date

26

drilled, total depth, depth of production if the well was

27

productive of oil or gas, the initial rock pressure and

28

volume and a copy of the driller's log or other similar

29

information. At the time of the filing of the maps and data,

30

a statement shall be filed:

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1

(i)  detailing efforts made to determine that the

2

wells shown are accurately located on the map;

3

(ii)  affirming that the wells shown represent, to

4

the best of the operator's knowledge, all oil or gas

5

wells which have ever been drilled into or below the

6

storage stratum within the proposed storage reservoir;

7

(iii)  stating whether the initial injection is for

8

testing purposes;

9

(iv)  stating the maximum pressure at which injection

10

and storage of gas is contemplated; and

11

(v)  providing a detailed explanation of the methods

12

to be used or which previously have been used in

13

drilling, cleaning out, reconditioning and plugging wells

14

in the storage reservoir.

15

(4)  The map and data required to be filed under

16

paragraph (3) shall be amended or supplemented semiannually

17

if material changes occur. The department may require a

18

storage operator to amend or supplement the map or data at

19

more frequent intervals if material changes have occurred

20

justifying the earlier filing.

21

(c)  Political subdivisions.--Storage operators shall give

22

notice to the department of the name of each political

23

subdivision and county in which the operator maintains and

24

operates a gas storage reservoir.

25

(d)  Notice to affected persons.--At the time of the filing

26

of maps and data and the filing of amended or supplemental maps

27

or data required by this section, the person filing the

28

information shall give written notice of the filing to all

29

persons who may be affected under the provisions of this chapter

30

by the storage reservoir described in the maps or data. Notices

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1

shall contain a description of the boundaries of the storage

2

reservoir. When a person operating a coal mine or owning an

3

interest in coal properties which are or may be affected by the

4

storage reservoir requests, in writing, a copy of any map or

5

data filed with the department, the copy shall be furnished by

6

the storage operator.

7

(e)  Outside boundaries.--For purposes of this chapter, the

8

outside boundaries of a storage reservoir shall be defined by

9

the location of those wells around the periphery of the storage

10

reservoir which had no gas production when drilled in the

11

storage stratum. The boundaries shall be originally fixed or

12

subsequently changed if, based on the number and nature of the

13

wells and the geological and production knowledge of the storage

14

stratum, its character, permeability, distribution and operating

15

experience, it is determined in a conference under section 3251

16

(relating to conferences) that modifications should be made.

17

(f)  Inapplicability of section.--The requirements of this

18

section shall not apply to the operator of an underground gas

19

storage reservoir so long as the reservoir is located more than

20

10,000 linear feet from an operating coal mine, except that the

21

storage operator shall give notice to the department of the name

22

of each political subdivision and county in which the operator

23

maintains and operates a gas storage reservoir. In political

24

subdivisions and counties where both gas storage reservoirs and

25

coal mines are being operated, the department may request the

26

storage operator to furnish maps showing geographical locations

27

and outside boundaries of the storage reservoirs. The department

28

shall keep a record of the information and promptly notify the

29

coal operator and the storage operator when notified by them

30

that the coal mine and storage reservoir are within 10,000

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1

linear feet of each other.

2

§ 3232.  Reporting requirements for coal mining operations.

3

(a)  General rule.--A person owning or operating a coal mine

4

shall file with the department a map prepared and sealed by a

5

competent individual licensed as a professional engineer or

6

professional land surveyor under the provisions of the act of

7

May 23, 1945 (P.L.913, No.367), known as the Engineer, Land

8

Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law, showing the outside

9

coal boundaries of the operating coal mine, the existing

10

workings and exhausted areas and the relationship of the

11

boundaries to identifiable surface properties and landmarks. A

12

person owning or operating an operating coal mine which has been

13

penetrated by a well shall furnish a mine map to the department

14

each year indicating the excavations for the preceding year and

15

the projections for the ensuing year. The map required by this

16

subsection shall be furnished to a person storing or

17

contemplating the storage of gas in the vicinity of operating

18

coal mines, upon written request, by the coal operator, and the

19

person and the department shall thereafter be informed of any

20

boundary changes at the time the changes occur. The department

21

shall keep a record of the information and promptly notify the

22

coal operator and storage operator when notified by them that

23

the coal mine and the storage reservoir are within 10,000 linear

24

feet of each other.

25

(b)  Mines near certain reservoirs.--A person owning or

26

operating any coal mine which is or which comes within 10,000

27

linear feet of a storage reservoir and where the coal seam being

28

operated extends over the storage reservoir or reservoir

29

protective area shall, within 45 days after receiving notice

30

from the storage operator of that fact, file with the department

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1

and furnish to the person operating the storage reservoir a map

2

in the form required by subsection (a) showing, in addition to

3

the requirements of subsection (a), existing and projected

4

excavations and workings of the operating coal mine for the

5

ensuing 18-month period and the location of oil or gas wells of

6

which the coal operator has knowledge. The person owning or

7

operating the coal mine shall, each six months thereafter, file

8

with the department and furnish to the person operating the

9

storage reservoir a revised map showing any additional

10

excavations and workings, together with the projected

11

excavations and workings for the then ensuing 18-month period,

12

which may be within 10,000 linear feet of the storage reservoir.

13

The department may require a coal operator to file revised maps

14

at more frequent intervals if material changes have occurred

15

justifying earlier filing. The person owning or operating the

16

coal mine shall also file with the department and furnish the

17

person operating the reservoir prompt notice of any wells which

18

have been cut into, together with all available pertinent

19

information.

20

(c)  Mines near gas storage reservoirs.--A person owning or

21

operating a coal mine who has knowledge that it overlies or is