SENATE AMENDED

 

PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 2689, 2765, 2777

PRINTER'S NO.  2837

  

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

  

  

SENATOR M. WHITE, ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, IN SENATE, AS AMENDED, DECEMBER 7, 2011   

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

1

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

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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

Amending Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated

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27

Statutes, consolidating the Oil and Gas Act with

28

modifications relating to definitions, well permits, well

29

location restrictions, protection of water supplies, well

30

reporting requirements, bonding, enforcement orders,

 


1

penalties, civil penalties and local ordinances; providing

2

for containment, for transportation regulations, for

3

emergency response information, for notification to public

4

drinking water systems, for corrosion control requirements,

5

for gathering lines and for model ordinance; providing for

6

local ordinances relating to oil and gas operations; and

7

making a related repeal.

8

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

9

hereby enacts as follows:

10

Section 1.  Title 27 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated

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11

Statutes is amended by adding chapters to read:

12

CHAPTER 33

13

OIL AND GAS

14

Subchapter

15

A.  (Reserved)

16

B.  Oil and Gas Lease Fund

17

c.  keystone transit

18

d.  clean transit

19

SUBCHAPTER A

20

(RESERVED)

21

SUBCHAPTER B

22

OIL AND GAS LEASE FUND

23

Sec.

24

3301.  Definitions.

25

3302.  Oil and Gas Lease Fund.

26

3303.  Powers and duties of secretary.

27

3304.  Appropriation of moneys.

28

3305.  Interfund transfers.

29

§ 3301.  Definitions.

30

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter

31

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

32

context clearly indicates otherwise:

33

"Department."  The Department of Conservation and Natural

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1

Resources of the Commonwealth.

2

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

3

subchapter.

4

"Secretary."  The Secretary of Conservation and Natural

5

Resources of the Commonwealth.

6

§ 3302.  Oil and Gas Lease Fund.

7

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

8

established in the State Treasury.

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

the fund to be used exclusively:

13

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

14

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

15

any of the purposes enumerated in this subchapter; and

16

(3)  for interfund transfers as provided in section 3305

17

(relating to interfund transfers).

18

§ 3303.  Powers and duties of secretary.

19

The secretary shall have the following powers and duties:

20

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

21

need for and the location of any project authorized by this

22

chapter.

23

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

24

purchase, condemnation or otherwise such lands as may be

25

needed.

26

§ 3304.  Appropriation of moneys.

27

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

28

specifically appropriated on a continuing basis to the

29

department to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

30

§ 3305.  Interfund transfers.

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1

Transfers shall be made between funds in the State Treasury

2

as follows:

3

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

4

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

5

prior fiscal year shall be transferred from the fund to the

6

Environmental Stewardship Fund for the purpose of plugging

7

abandoned oil and gas wells and other uses authorized by law

8

for the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

9

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

10

shall be transferred from the fund to the Hazardous Sites

11

Cleanup Fund for the purpose of remedial response or

12

remedy at oil and gas well sites and other uses

13

authorized by law for the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.

14

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

15

the following shall apply:

16

(A)  the sum of the amount transferred under

17

subparagraph (i) during the prior fiscal year; and

18

(B)  an amount equal to the percentage change in

19

the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers from

20

the prior fiscal year, multiplied by the amount in

21

clause (A),

22

shall be transferred from the fund to the Hazardous Sites

23

Cleanup Fund for the purpose specified in subparagraph

24

(i).

25

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

26

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

27

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

28

transferred from the fund to the several counties, school

29

districts and townships entitled to receive payment from the

30

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

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1

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

2

Municipal Financial Relief Law. The moneys transferred under

3

this paragraph shall be allocated to each county, school

4

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

5

the county, school district or township to which the payment

6

under that act applies in proportion to the aggregate number

7

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

8

and townships in this Commonwealth.

9

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

10

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

11

Conservation District Fund. These funds shall be distributed

12

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

13

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

14

provisions of the State Conservation Commission's

15

Conservation District Fund Allocation Program—Statement of

16

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

17

Conservation District Fund Allocation Program—Statement of

18

Policy).

19

SUBCHAPTER C

20

KEYSTONE TRANSIT

21

Sec.

22

3311.  Short title of subchapter.

23

3312.  Definitions.

24

3313.  Keystone Transit Program.

25

§ 3311.  Short title of subchapter.

26

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the

27

Keystone Transit Act.

28

§ 3312.  Definitions.

29

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter

30

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

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1

context clearly indicates otherwise:

2

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

3

solely on compressed natural gas.

4

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

5

the Commonwealth.

6

"Mass transit authority."  An operator of regularly scheduled

7

transportation that is available to the general public and is

8

provided according to published schedules along designated

9

published routes with specified stopping points for the taking

10

on and discharging of passengers. The term does not include

11

exclusive ride taxi services, charter or sightseeing services,

12

nonpublic transportation or school bus or limousine services.

13

"Program."  The Keystone Transit Program.

14

"Small mass transit authority."  A mass transit authority

15

located in this Commonwealth that does not exceed 245,000

16

revenue vehicle hours for two consecutive years.

17

§ 3313.  Keystone Transit Program.

18

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

19

administer the Keystone Transit Program.

20

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

21

decrease emissions from mass transit buses by utilizing natural

22

gas as a vehicle fuel.

23

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

24

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

25

$5,000,000 to fund the program.

26

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

27

fund competitive grants available to small mass transit

28

authorities for the purchase of new dedicated compressed natural

29

gas buses.

30

(e)  Application process.--

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1

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

2

the department a keystone transit grant application.

3

(2)  Approved applications must obligate the mass transit

4

authority to contract with a private company:

5

(i)  to build exclusively with private funds; and

6

(ii)  to maintain and operate any new compressed

7

natural gas fueling facility necessary to support

8

compressed natural gas buses purchased with funds

9

received under this subchapter.

10

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

11

not include the actual act of fueling buses.

12

(f)  Eligible costs.--

13

(1)  Grant funds received under this subchapter shall be

14

eligible for:

15

(i)  Federally assisted purchases of new dedicated

16

compressed natural gas buses and shall be limited to the

17

total percentage of the State and local match.

18

(ii)  Nonfederally assisted bus purchases and shall

19

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

20

dedicated compressed natural gas bus.

21

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

22

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

23

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

24

rating of 26,000 pounds and under.

25

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

26

than 16,000 pounds shall be ineligible.

27

(4)  Priority shall be given to those applications which

28

provide for public access to compressed natural gas vehicle

29

fueling dispensers.

30

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

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1

and method for awarding of grants under the program consistent

2

with this subchapter.

3

(h)  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

SUBCHAPTER d

9

CLEAN TRANSIT

10

Sec.

11

3321.  Short title of subchapter.

12

3322.  Definitions.

13

3323.  Clean Transit Program.

14

§ 3321.  Short title of subchapter.

15

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

16

Transit Act.

17

§ 3322.  Definitions.

18

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter

19

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

20

context clearly indicates otherwise:

21

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

22

solely on compressed natural gas.

23

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

24

the Commonwealth.

25

"Large mass transit authority."  A mass transit authority

26

located in this Commonwealth that exceeds 245,000 revenue

27

vehicle hours for two consecutive years.

28

"Mass transit authority."  An operator of regularly scheduled

29

transportation that is available to the general public and is

30

provided according to published schedules along designated

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1

published routes with specified stopping points for the taking

2

on and discharging of passengers. The term does not include

3

exclusive ride taxi services, charter or sightseeing services,

4

nonpublic transportation or school bus or limousine services.

5

"Program."  The Clean Transit Program.

6

§ 3323.  Clean Transit Program.

7

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

8

administer the Clean Transit Program.

9

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

10

decrease emissions from mass transit buses by utilizing natural

11

gas as a vehicle fuel.

12

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

13

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

14

$7,500,000 to fund the program.

15

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

16

into a fund to be administered by the department and made

17

available to large mass transit authorities for the purchase of

18

new dedicated compressed natural gas buses. The following shall

19

apply:

20

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

21

continuing basis to the Department of Environmental

22

Protection for the purposes provided for in this subchapter.

23

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

24

administration.

25

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

26

any manner it deems appropriate, subject to the provisions of

27

this subchapter.

28

(e)  Application process.--

29

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

30

the department a clean transit loan application.

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1

(2)  Approved applications must obligate the mass transit

2

authority to contract with a private company:

3

(i)   to build exclusively with private funds; and

4

(ii)  to maintain and operate any new compressed

5

natural gas fueling facility necessary to support

6

compressed natural gas buses purchased with funds

7

received under this act.

8

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

9

not include the actual act of fueling buses.

10

(f)  Eligible costs.--

11

(1)  Loan funds received under this subchapter shall be

12

eligible for:

13

(i)  Federally assisted purchases of new dedicated

14

compressed natural gas buses and shall be limited to the

15

total percentage of the State and local match.

16

(ii)  Nonfederally assisted bus purchases and shall

17

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

18

compressed natural gas bus.

19

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

20

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

21

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

22

rating of 26,000 pounds and under.

23

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

24

than 16,000 pounds shall be ineligible.

25

(4)  Priority shall be given to those applications which

26

provide for public access to compressed natural gas vehicle

27

fueling dispensers.

28

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

29

and method for awarding of loans under the program consistent

30

with this subchapter.

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1

(h)  Fund repayment.--

2

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

3

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

4

years from disbursement and before June 30, 2021.

5

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

6

the fund and any remaining money in the fund shall be

7

transferred to the Oil and Gas Lease Fund.

8

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

9

shall not exceed 2%.

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

Hearing Board Act, regarding the department's decision.

15

CHAPTER 35

16

WELLS

17

Subchapter

18

A.  Unconventional Gas Wells

19

B.  (Reserved)

20

SUBCHAPTER A

21

UNCONVENTIONAL GAS WELLS

22

Sec.

23

3501.  Short title.

24

3502.  Definitions.

25

3503.  Unconventional gas well impact fee.

26

3504.  (Reserved).

27

3505.  (Reserved).

28

3506.  Administration.

29

3506.1.  Well information.

30

3506.2.  Payment confirmation.

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1

3506.3.  County authority.

2

3506.4.  Enforcement.

3

3506.5.  Examinations.

4

3507.  Deposit of fees.

5

3508.  Allocation and distribution of fees.

6

3509.  Calculation of payments.

7

3510.  Recordkeeping and State reporting.

8

3511.  Expiration.

9

§ 3501.  Short title.

10

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the

11

Unconventional Gas Well Impact Act.

12

§ 3502.  Definitions.

13

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter

14

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

15

context clearly indicates otherwise:

16

"Association."  A partnership, limited partnership or any

17

other form of unincorporated enterprise owned or conducted by

18

two or more persons.

19

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

20

coal seams, mined-out areas or gob wells.

21

"Corporation."  A corporation, joint stock association,

22

limited liability company, business trust or any other

23

incorporated enterprise organized under the laws of the United

24

States, this Commonwealth or any other state, territory or

25

foreign country or dependency.

26

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

27

the Commonwealth.

28

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

29

streets most recently certified by the Department of

30

Transportation as eligible for distribution of liquid fuels

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1

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

2

referred to as the Liquid Fuels Tax Municipal Allocation Law.

3

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

4

township.

5

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

6

hydrocarbon gases, primarily methane, possibly including ethane,

7

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

8

hydrogen sulfide and other gas species. The term includes gas

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

methane.

13

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

14

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

15

during a calendar year.

16

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

17

company that holds a permit or other authorization to engage in

18

the business of severing natural gas for sale, profit or

19

commercial use from an unconventional gas well in this

20

Commonwealth. The term does not include a person who severs

21

natural gas from a storage field.

22

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

23

association or other entity, including the Commonwealth and any

24

of its political subdivisions, instrumentalities and

25

authorities. When the term is used in a provision prescribing

26

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

27

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

28

corporation.

29

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

30

unconventional gas well impact fee).

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1

"Reporting period."  The fiscal year in which an

2

unconventional gas well impact fee is assessed.

3

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

4

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

5

gas from a geologic shale formation existing below the base of

6

the Elk Sandstone or its geologic equivalent stratigraphic

7

interval where oil or gas generally cannot be produced at

8

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

9

following:

10

(1)  Vertical or horizontal well bores stimulated by

11

hydraulic fracture treatments.

12

(2)  Using multilateral well bores or other techniques to

13

expose more of the formation of the well bore.

14

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

15

under section 3503 (relating to unconventional gas well impact

16

fee) on each unconventional gas well producing natural gas

17

within this Commonwealth.

18

§ 3503.  Unconventional gas well impact fee.

19

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

20

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

21

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

22

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

23

and produces natural gas within the county.

24

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

25

shall not be imposed on:

26

(1)  nonproducing wells; or

27

(2)  unconventional gas wells in which all of the natural

28

gas is used directly by a consumer at the site.

29

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

30

an unconventional gas well which is in existence on the

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1

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

2

follows:

3

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

4

the ordinance, not more than $40,000.

5

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

6

the ordinance, not more than $30,000.

7

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

8

the ordinance, not more than $20,000.

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

unconventional gas well drilled after the effective date of the

13

ordinance under subsection (a) shall be as follows:

14

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

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

than $10,000.

19

(e)  Vertical unconventional gas well fee.--

20

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

21

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

22

(c) and (d).

23

(2)  For purposes of this subsection, a vertical

24

unconventional gas well shall be defined as an unconventional

25

gas well that utilizes hydraulic fracture treatment through a

26

single vertical well bore.

27

(f)  Prohibition.--

28

(1)  Under no circumstances may an operator make an

29

unconventional gas well impact fee, or any other levy related

30

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

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1

indebtedness or liability of a landowner, leaseholder or

2

other person in possession of real property upon which such

3

removal or extraction occurs.

4

(2)  Any provision of an agreement between an operator

5

and a landowner, leaseholder or other person in possession of

6

real property upon which removal or extraction of natural gas

7

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

8

(3)  This section shall be applicable to any agreement

9

entered into  before, on or after the effective date of this

10

section.

11

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

12

cover a period of natural gas production which occurred prior to

13

the effective date of the ordinance.

14

§ 3504.  (Reserved).

15

§ 3505.  (Reserved).

16

§ 3506.  Administration.

17

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

18

ordinance imposing a fee under this chapter and each April 1

19

thereafter, each operator shall submit a report and payment of

20

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

21

for the previous calendar year. The report shall include the

22

following:

23

(1)  The number of unconventional gas wells of an

24

operator in each municipality within the county.

25

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

26

severed by the operator for each unconventional gas well

27

identified under paragraph (1) during the previous calendar

28

year.

29

(3)  The date that each unconventional gas well

30

identified under paragraph (1) began or ceased the production

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1

of natural gas.

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

become delinquent if not remitted to the county on the reporting

6

date.

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

§ 3506.1.  Well information.

11

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

12

county with a list of all unconventional gas wells that have

13

received a well permit from the department issued under this

14

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

15

of providing the list to each county, the department may

16

maintain a list on its publicly accessible Internet website if

17

the list is updated on a monthly basis.

18

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

19

days from the date the unconventional gas well began or ceased

20

the production of natural gas.

21

§ 3506.2.  Payment confirmation.

22

Prior to issuing a permit to drill an unconventional gas well

23

in this Commonwealth, the department shall require the permit

24

applicant to certify in its well permit application that the  

25

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

26

The department may deny a well permit application if it finds

27

that the operator falsified this certification.

28

§ 3506.3.  County authority.

29

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

30

determinations necessary to calculate and collect a fee imposed

- 17 -

 


1

under this chapter, including, if applicable, interest and

2

penalties.

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

basis for the determination.

7

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

8

be sent to the operator at its registered address via certified

9

mail.

10

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

11

paid under this chapter within three years after the date the

12

report under this chapter is filed.

13

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

14

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

15

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

16

§ 3506.4.  Enforcement.

17

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

18

delinquent fee imposed under this chapter at the rate prescribed

19

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

20

known as The Fiscal Code.

21

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

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

the aggregate.

27

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

28

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

29

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

30

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

- 18 -

 


1

the operator has not provided a complete and accurate statement

2

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

3

the county may estimate the volume in its deficiency notice.

4

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

5

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

6

equity.

7

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

8

collectible in the manner provided by law for the collection of

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

been entered and docketed of record by the prothonotary of the

14

county where the property is situated.

15

§ 3506.5.  Examinations.

16

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

17

chapter, or its authorized agents or representatives, shall:

18

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

19

operator in order to verify the accuracy and completeness of

20

a report filed or fee paid under this chapter.

21

(2)  Require and compel the preservation and production

22

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

23

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

24

to which the records relate.

25

(3)  Examine any employee of an operator concerning the

26

severing of natural gas subject to a fee or any matter

27

relating to the enforcement of this chapter.

28

(b)  Unauthorized disclosure.--

29

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

30

any report, examination, investigation or hearing under this

- 19 -

 


1

section shall be confidential and shall be exempt from

2

disclosure under the provisions of the act of February 14,

3

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

4

not be disclosed except in accordance with judicial order or

5

as otherwise provided by law.

6

(2)  An individual unlawfully divulging the information

7

described under this subsection commits a misdemeanor and

8

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

9

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

10

for not more than one year, or both.

11

§ 3507.  Deposit of fees.

12

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

13

chapter shall establish an interest-bearing account designed

14

solely for fees.

15

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

16

under this chapter shall be deposited into the account described

17

under subsection (a).

18

§ 3508.  Allocation and distribution of fees.

19

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

20

established under section 3507 (relating to deposit of fees)

21

shall be allocated as follows:

22

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

23

to the county and its municipalities in the manner provided

24

under subsection (b).

25

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

26

to the Commonwealth and distributed in the manner provided

27

under subsections (c) and (d).

28

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

29

fees allocated to the county and its municipalities under

30

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

- 20 -

 


1

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

2

the county where the producing unconventional gas wells are

3

located.

4

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

5

distributed to the municipalities where producing

6

unconventional gas wells are located. The amount for each

7

municipality shall be determined using a formula that divides

8

the number of producing unconventional gas wells in the

9

municipality by the number of producing unconventional gas

10

wells in the county and multiplies the resulting percentage

11

by the amount available for distribution under this

12

subparagraph.

13

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

14

distributed to all municipalities in the county where

15

producing unconventional gas wells are located as follows:

16

(i)  Fifty percent shall be distributed to all

17

municipalities using a formula that divides the

18

population of the municipality within the county by the

19

total population of the county and multiplies the

20

resulting percentage by the amount available for

21

distribution to the county under this subparagraph.

22

(ii)  Fifty percent shall be distributed to each

23

municipality using a formula that divides the highway

24

mileage of the municipality within the county by the

25

total highway mileage of the county and multiplies the

26

resulting percentage by the amount available for

27

distribution to the county under this subparagraph.

28

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

29

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

30

remitted to the Commonwealth for deposit into a restricted

- 21 -

 


1

account in the General Fund of the Commonwealth dedicated solely

2

for fees. The funds are hereby appropriated and shall be

3

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

4

(1)  Seventy percent to the Department of Transportation

5

for road, bridge, rail and other transportation

6

infrastructure improvements to address impacts from

7

unconventional natural gas development.

8

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

9

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

10

unconventional gas wells and the plugging of abandoned and

11

orphan gas wells within the Commonwealth.

12

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

13

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

14

enhancement, inspection and enforcement of pipeline safety

15

standards as required by law related to the safe transport of

16

gas and hazardous liquids.

17

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

18

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

19

annually, for emergency response planning, training and

20

coordination associated with unconventional natural gas

21

production activity within the Commonwealth.

22

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

23

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

24

and disseminating information, preparing and conducting

25

health care provider outreach and education and investigating

26

health-related complaints and other uses associated with

27

unconventional natural gas production activity within this

28

Commonwealth.

29

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

30

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

- 22 -

 


1

for the development, delivery and sustainment of training

2

programs for first responders and acquisition of specialized

3

equipment necessary for emergency response.

4

(d)  Additional distribution of fees to Department of

5

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

6

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

7

remaining in the restricted account after distribution of fees

8

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

9

appropriated shall be distributed to the Department of

10

Transportation.

11

(e)  Continuing nature.--

12

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

13

shall be executive authorizations.

14

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

15

shall be continuing appropriations. Those appropriations

16

shall not lapse at the end of any fiscal year.

17

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

18

fees authorized under this chapter within 45 days after the date

19

the fees are received.

20

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

21

or municipality receiving fees under this section shall make use

22

of the fees received only for the following purposes associated

23

with unconventional natural gas production within the county or

24

municipality:

25

(1)  Construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair

26

of roadways, bridges and public infrastructure.

27

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

28

construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair.

29

(3)  Emergency preparedness and response, including

30

police, fire, hazardous material response, 911, equipment

- 23 -

 


1

acquisition, responder recruitment and other services.

2

(4)  Preservation and reclamation of surface and

3

subsurface waters and water supplies, including drinking

4

water monitoring and testing.

5

(5)  Records management, geographic information systems

6

and information technology.

7

(6)  Projects that increase the availability of

8

affordable housing, either for sale or rental, to residents

9

whose annual income is less than the area median income.

10

(7)  Delivery of social services, including domestic

11

relations, drug and alcohol treatment, job training and

12

counseling.

13

(8)  Assistance to the county conservation district for

14

inspection, oversight and enforcement of unconventional

15

natural gas development.

16

(9)  County or municipal planning.

17

(10)  Local tax reduction.

18

(11)  Career and technical centers for training of

19

workers in the oil and gas industry.

20

§ 3509.  Calculation of payments.

21

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

22

imposes and collects the unconventional gas well impact fee

23

shall certify the number of all unconventional gas wells located

24

within each municipality of the county based upon the

25

appropriate reports provided by the department.

26

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

27

county that imposes and collects the unconventional gas well

28

impact fee shall pay to municipalities the amounts required

29

under this subchapter.

30

§ 3510.  Recordkeeping and State reporting.

- 24 -

 


1

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

2

each year thereafter, before December 1, each county that

3

imposes and collects the unconventional gas well impact fee

4

authorized by this subchapter shall prepare and deliver a report

5

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

6

of Representatives detailing the expenditure of the funds

7

collected under this subchapter.

8

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

9

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

10

of the funds.

11

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

12

receives the funds shall make its financial records and other

13

documents relating to its expenditure of the funds available to

14

the department.

15

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

16

of the year following the initial receipt of any fees

17

distributed under this section and each June 30 thereafter.

18

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

19

municipality's publicly accessible Internet website. If a

20

municipality does not maintain a publicly accessible Internet

21

website, the municipality shall provide its report to the

22

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

23

county's publicly accessible Internet website.

24

§ 3511.  Expiration.

25

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

26

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

27

unconventional gas well producing gas in this Commonwealth,

28

submit for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin notice of

29

that fact.

30

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

- 25 -

 


1

publication of the notice under subsection (a).

2

SUBCHAPTER B

3

(RESERVED)

4

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

5

PART I

6

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

7

(RESERVED)

8

PART II

9

(RESERVED)

10

PART III

11

UTILIZATION

12

Chapter

13

31.  (Reserved)

14

32.  Development

15

CHAPTER 31

16

(RESERVED)

17

CHAPTER 32

18

DEVELOPMENT

19

Subchapter

20

A.  Preliminary Provisions

21

B.  General Requirements

22

C.  Underground Gas Storage

23

D.  Eminent Domain

24

E.  Enforcement and Remedies

25

F.  Miscellaneous Provisions

26

SUBCHAPTER A

27

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

28

Sec.

29

3201.  Scope of chapter.

30

3202.  Declaration of purpose.

- 26 -

 


1

3203.  Definitions.

2

§ 3201.  Scope of chapter.

3

This chapter relates to oil and gas.

4

§ 3202.  Declaration of purpose.

5

The purposes of this chapter are to:

6

(1)  Permit optimal development of oil and gas resources

7

of this Commonwealth consistent with protection of the

8

health, safety, environment and property of Pennsylvania

9

citizens.

10

(2)  Protect the safety of personnel and facilities

11

employed in coal mining or exploration, development, storage

12

and production of natural gas or oil.

13

(3)  Protect the safety and property rights of persons

14

residing in areas where mining, exploration, development,

15

storage or production occurs.

16

(4)  Protect the natural resources, environmental rights

17

and values secured by the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

18

§ 3203.  Definitions.

19

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter

20

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

21

context clearly indicates otherwise:

22

"Abandoned well."  Any of the following:

23

(1)  A well:

24

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

25

inject any gas, petroleum or other liquid within the

26

preceding 12 months;

27

(ii)  for which equipment necessary for production,

28

extraction or injection has been removed; or

29

(iii)  considered dry and not equipped for production

30

within 60 days after drilling, redrilling or deepening.

- 27 -

 


1

(2)  The term does not include wells granted inactive

2

status.

3

"Alteration."  An operation which changes the physical

4

characteristics of a well bore, including stimulation or

5

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

6

this chapter only, the term does not include:

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

complies with regulations promulgated under this chapter,

11

except that this exclusion does not apply:

12

(i)  to production casings in coal areas when the

13

production casings are also the coal protection casings;

14

or

15

(ii)  when the method of repairing or replacing the

16

casing would affect the coal protection casing.

17

(2)  Stimulation of a well.

18

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

19

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

20

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

21

which persons live or customarily work.

22

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

23

wells drilled for natural gas or petroleum.

24

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

25

(1)  Hydraulic cement properly mixed with water only.

26

(2)  A mixture of materials adequate for bonding or

27

sealing of well bores as approved by regulations promulgated

28

under this chapter.

29

"Coal mine."  Any of the following:

30

(1)  Operations in a coal seam, including excavated

- 28 -

 


1

portions, abandoned portions and places actually being

2

worked.

3

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

4

other ways and openings, including those which are in the

5

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

6

facilities connected with them below the surface.

7

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

8

operate a coal mine as an owner or lessee.

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

13

the Commonwealth.

14

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

15

deepening of an existing well.

16

"Environmental law."  Any of the following:

17

(1)  A Federal statute pertaining to oil and gas

18

operations, public health, safety, natural resources or the

19

environment.

20

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

21

agency interpretation or guidance pertaining to oil and gas

22

operations, public health, safety, natural resources or the

23

environment.

24

(3)  A Federal judicial decision pertaining to oil and

25

gas operations, public health, safety, natural resources or

26

the environment.

27

(4)  A Commonwealth statute pertaining to oil and gas

28

operations, public health, safety, natural resources or the

29

environment. The term includes any of the following:

30

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

- 29 -

 


1

known as The Clean Streams Law.

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

known as the Delaware River Basin Compact.

6

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

7

known as the Oil and Gas Conservation Law.

8

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

9

referred to as the Susquehanna River Basin Compact Law.

10

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

11

known as the Storm Water Management Act.

12

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

13

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

14

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

15

known as the Solid Waste Management Act.

16

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

17

known as the Wild Resource Conservation Act.

18

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

19

as the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act.

20

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

21

known as the Radiation Protection Act.

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

Act.

27

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

28

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

29

and Reclamation Act.

30

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

- 30 -

 


1

known as the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act.

2

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

3

known as the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act.

4

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

5

No.165), known as the Hazardous Material Emergency

6

Planning and Response Act.

7

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

8

as the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation

9

Standards Act.

10

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

11

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

12

Resources Compact.

13

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

14

to water resources planning)

15

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

16

to environmental laboratory accreditation).

17

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

18

to waste transportation safety).

19

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

20

fish).

21

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

22

game).

23

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

24

interpretation or guidance of a Commonwealth agency

25

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

26

natural resources or the environment.

27

(6)  A decision of a court of this Commonwealth

28

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

29

natural resources or the environment.

30

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

- 31 -

 


1

recognized hydrologic cycle which occupies the pore spaces and

2

fractures of saturated subsurface materials.

3

"Gas."  Any of the following:

4

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

5

produced in a natural state from the earth and maintains a

6

gaseous or rarified state at standard temperature of 60

7

degrees Fahrenheit and pressure 14.7 PSIA.

8

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

9

gases or natural gas liquids.

10

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

11

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

12

device or by injecting bentonitic mud or other equally nonporous

13

material into the well.

14

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

15

horizontal plane.

16

"Oil."  Hydrocarbons in liquid form at standard temperature

17

of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure 14.7 PSIA, also referred

18

to as petroleum.

19

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

20

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

21

the conduct of seismic operations.

22

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

23

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

24

wells.

25

(4)  Generation, processing, treatment, storage,

26

transportation and disposal of fresh water, wastewater,

27

wastes, chemicals and other materials directly associated

28

with drilling, stimulation and completion of oil and gas

29

wells.

30

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

- 32 -

 


1

(6)  Compression, transportation, processing, measurement

2

and storage of oil or gas.

3

(7)  Reclamation activities.

4

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

5

This paragraph includes equipment directly related to the

6

activities set forth in this paragraph.

7

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

8

drilling pads, impoundments, compression stations, processing

9

stations, meter stations and storage tanks. This paragraph

10

includes buildings, facilities or structures, which are

11

directly related to the activities set forth in this

12

paragraph. This paragraph does not include ancillary support,

13

supply and service facilities, the location of which is not

14

dependent on the location of specific wells or pipelines.

15

"Operating coal mine."  Any of the following:

16

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

17

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

18

months immediately preceding the date its status is put in

19

question, including contiguous worked-out or abandoned coal

20

mines to which it is connected underground.

21

(2)  An underground coal mine to be established or

22

reestablished under paragraph (1).

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

operator and from which the present owner, operator or lessee

27

has received no economic benefit other than as a landowner or

28

recipient of a royalty interest from the well.

29

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

30

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

- 33 -

 


1

assigned to the coal mine under an underground mine permit

2

issued by the Department of Environmental Protection.

3

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

4

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

5

orphan wells, except where the Department of Environmental

6

Protection determines a prior owner or operator benefited from

7

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

8

requirements).

9

"Person."  An individual, association, partnership,

10

corporation, political subdivision or agency of the Federal

11

Government, State government or other legal entity.

12

"Petroleum."  Hydrocarbons in liquid form at standard

13

temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure 14.7 PSIA,

14

also referred to as oil.

15

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

16

mine workings or a mined-out area.

17

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

18

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

19

"Reservoir protective area."  The area surrounding a storage

20

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

21

reservoir boundary, unless an alternate area has been designated

22

by the Department of Environmental Protection, which is deemed

23

reasonably necessary to afford protection to the reservoir,

24

under a conference held in accordance with section 3251

25

(relating to conferences).

26

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

27

remaining after development mining has been completed in that

28

section of a coal mine.

29

"Secretary."  The Secretary of Environmental Protection of

30

the Commonwealth.

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1

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

2

operate a storage reservoir as an owner or lessee.

3

"Storage reservoir."  That portion of a subsurface geological

4

stratum into which gas is or may be injected for storage

5

purposes or to test suitability of the stratum for storage.

6

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

7

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

8

geological shale formation existing below the base of the Elk

9

Sandstone or its geologic equivalent stratigraphic interval

10

where oil or gas generally cannot be produced at economic flow

11

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

12

(1)  Vertical or horizontal well bores stimulated by

13

hydraulic fracture treatments.

14

(2)  Using multilateral well bores or other techniques to

15

expose more of the formation of the well bore.

16

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

17

completing a well in an unconventional formation that

18

demonstrates that the withdrawal and use of water sources

19

protects those sources as required by law and protects public

20

health, safety and welfare.

21

"Water purveyor."  Any of the following:

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

"Water source."

28

(1)  Any of the following:

29

(i)  Waters of this Commonwealth.

30

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

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1

purveyor.

2

(iii)  Mine pools and discharges.

3

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

4

completing a well in an unconventional formation.

5

(2)  The term does not include flowback or production

6

waters or other fluids:

7

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

8

in an unconventional formation; and

9

(ii)  which do not discharge into waters of this

10

Commonwealth.

11

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

12

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

13

petroleum or another liquid related to oil or gas production or

14

storage, including brine disposal, but excluding a bore hole

15

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

16

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

17

used for:

18

(1)  Systems of monitoring, producing or extracting gas

19

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

20

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

21

known as the Solid Waste Management Act, which does not

22

penetrate a workable coal seam.

23

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

24

(i)  used to vent methane to the outside atmosphere

25

from an operating coal mine; regulated as part of the

26

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

27

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

28

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

29

Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act; and drilled by

30

the operator of the operating coal mine for the purpose

- 36 -

 


1

of increased safety; or

2

(ii)  used to vent methane to the outside atmosphere

3

under a federally funded or State-funded abandoned mine

4

reclamation project.

5

"Well control emergency."  An incident during drilling,

6

operation, workover or completion that, as determined by the

7

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

8

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

9

blowout, fire and explosion.

10

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

11

a well control emergency with a current certification from a

12

well control course accredited by the International Association

13

of Drilling Contractors or other organization approved by the

14

department.

15

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

16

(1)  The person designated as operator or well operator

17

on the permit application or well registration.

18

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

19

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

20

or reconditions a well with the purpose of production from

21

the well.

22

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

23

storage of gas, a storage operator.

24

"Wetland."  Areas inundated or saturated by surface or

25

groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support,

26

and which normally support, a prevalence of vegetation typically

27

adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, including swamps,

28

marshes, bogs and similar areas.

29

"Workable coal seams."  A coal seam which:

30

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

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1

under this chapter by underground methods; or

2

(2)  in the judgment of the Department of Environmental

3

Protection, can reasonably be expected to be mined by

4

underground methods.

5

SUBCHAPTER B

6

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

7

Sec.

8

3211.  Well permits.

9

3212.  Permit objections.

10

3212.1.  Comments by municipalities.

11

3213.  Well registration and identification.

12

3214.  Inactive status.

13

3215.  Well location restrictions.

14

3215.1.  General restrictions.

15

3216.  Well site restoration.

16

3217.  Protection of fresh groundwater and casing requirements.

17

3218.  Protection of water supplies.

18

3219.  Use of safety devices.

19

3219.1.  Well control emergency response.

20

3220.  Plugging requirements.

21

3221.  Alternative methods.

22

3222.  Well reporting requirements.

23

3223.  Notification and effect of well transfer.

24

3224.  Coal operator responsibilities.

25

3225.  Bonding.

26

3226.  Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board.

27

3227.  AIR CONTAINMENT EMISSIONS.

28

§ 3211.  Well permits.

29

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

30

except for alterations which satisfy the requirements of

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1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

permit to redrill a nonproducing well if the redrilling:

7

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

8

from the department authorizing cleaning out and plugging or

9

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

10

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

11

and Gas Resource Coordination Act; and

12

(2)  is incidental to a plugging or replugging operation

13

and the well is plugged within 15 days of redrilling.

14

(b)  Plat.--

15

(1)  The permit application shall be accompanied by a

16

plat prepared by a competent engineer or a competent

17

surveyor, on forms furnished by the department, showing the

18

political subdivision and county in which the tract of land

19

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

20

municipalities adjacent to the well site; the name of the

21

surface landowner of record and lessor; the name of all

22

surface landowners and water purveyors whose water supplies

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

operator of all known underlying workable coal seams; the

27

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

28

the well determined by survey, courses and distances of the

29

location from two or more permanent identifiable points or

30

landmarks on the tract boundary corners; the proposed angle

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1

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

2

substantially from a vertical course; the number or other

3

identification to be given the well; the workable coal seams

4

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

5

drilled or altered and which shall be cased off under section

6

3217 (relating to protection of fresh groundwater and casing

7

requirements); and any other information needed by the

8

department to administer this chapter.

9

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

10

application required in subsection (a), the applicant shall

11

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

12

landowner; the municipality in which the tract of land upon

13

which the well to be drilled is located; the municipalities

14

adjacent to the well; all surface landowners and water

15

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

16

proposed well location or, in the case of an unconventional

17

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

18

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

19

required to be identified on the well permit application.

20

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

21

notification with the well permit application. Notification of

22

surface owners shall be performed by sending notice to those

23

persons to whom the tax notices for the surface property are

24

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

25

which the property is located. Notification of surface

26

landowners or water purveyors whose water supplies are within

27

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

28

in a manner prescribed by the department, sufficient to identify

29

the rights afforded those persons under section 3218 (relating

30

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

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1

advantages of taking their own predrilling or prealteration

2

survey.

3

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

4

written approval of the proposed well location by the surface

5

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

6

underlying the proposed well location and no objections are

7

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

8

approval has been submitted and no objections are made to the

9

proposed well location within 15 days from receipt of notice by

10

the department, the surface landowner or any coal operator,

11

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

12

a permanent record of the well location, subject to inspection

13

at any time by any interested person.

14

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

15

corporation, partnership or person that is not a resident of

16

this Commonwealth, the applicant shall designate the name and

17

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

18

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

19

Commonwealth upon whom notices, orders or other communications

20

issued under this chapter may be served and upon whom process

21

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

22

under this section shall, within five days after termination of

23

the designation, notify the department of the termination and

24

designate a new agent.

25

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

26

accompanied by a permit fee, established by regulation of the

27

department, which bears a reasonable relationship to the cost of

28

administering this chapter.

29

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

30

within 45 days of submission of a permit application unless the

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1

department denies the permit application for one or more of the

2

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

3

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

4

for cause shown upon notification to the applicant of the

5

reasons for the extension. The department may impose permit

6

terms and conditions necessary to assure compliance with this

7

chapter or other laws administered by the department.

8

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

9

for any of the following reasons:

10

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

11

violation of any of this chapter or issuance of the permit

12

would result in a violation of this chapter or other

13

applicable law.

14

(2)  The permit application is incomplete.

15

(3)  Unresolved objections to the well location by coal

16

mine owner or operator remain.

17

(4)  The requirements of section 3225 (relating to

18

bonding) have not been met.

19

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

20

parent or subsidiary corporation of the applicant, is in

21

continuing violation of this subchapter, any other statute

22

administered by the department, any rule or regulation

23

promulgated under this subchapter or a statute administered

24

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

25

the department, unless the violation is being corrected to

26

the satisfaction of the department. The right of the

27

department to deny a permit under this paragraph shall not

28

take effect until the department has taken a final action on

29

the violations and:

30

(i)  the applicant has not appealed the final

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1

action in accordance with the act of July 13, 1988

2

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

3

Board Act; or

4

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

5

has been issued.

6

(f)  Drilling.--

7

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

8

drill at the location shown on the plat after providing the

9

department, the surface landowner and the local political

10

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

11

notice of the date that drilling will commence.

12

(2)  The unconventional well operator shall provide the

13

department 24 hours' notice prior to cementing all casing

14

strings, conducting pressure tests of the production casing,

15

stimulation and abandoning or plugging an unconventional

16

well.

17

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

18

drilled as part of the same development project, only the

19

first well of the project need be located by survey.

20

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

21

a manner prescribed by regulation.

22

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

23

well operator shall notify the department and provide

24

reasonable notice of the date on which drilling will

25

commence.

26

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

27

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

28

operator encounters conditions of a nature which renders

29

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

30

more hazardous than usual, the well operator, upon verbal

- 43 -

 


1

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

2

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

3

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

4

location of the new bore hole does not violate section 3215

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

location complies with existing laws, regulations and spacing

9

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

10

nearest lease boundary.

11

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

12

hole, the well operator shall file with the department a

13

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

14

completion report, a plugging certificate for the original

15

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

16

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

17

amended plat to the surface landowner identified on the well

18

permit application within ten days of commencement of the new

19

well bore.

20

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

21

address and telephone number shall be conspicuously posted at

22

the drilling site prior to commencement of drilling.

23

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

24

number issued by the department in a legible, visible and

25

permanent manner on the well upon completion.

26

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

27

under this chapter shall expire one year after issuance unless

28

operations for drilling the well are commenced within the period

29

and pursued with due diligence or unless the permit is renewed

30

in accordance with regulations of the department. If drilling is

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1

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

2

remain in force until the well is plugged in accordance with

3

section 3220 (relating to plugging requirements) or the permit

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

accordance with section 3220. Nothing in this subsection shall

8

be construed to rescind the provisions pertaining to drilling

9

permits contained in Chapter 34.

10

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

11

establish by regulation certain categories of alterations of

12

permitted or registered wells for which permitting requirements

13

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

14

proposes to conduct the alteration activity shall first obtain a

15

permit or registration modification from the department. The

16

Environmental Quality Board shall promulgate regulations as to

17

the requirements for modifications.

18

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

19

section or registration issued under section 3213 (relating to

20

well registration and identification) may be transferred without

21

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

22

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

23

the department. The department shall approve or deny a transfer

24

request within 45 days of receipt of a complete and accurate

25

application. The department may deny a request only for reasons

26

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

27

request shall permanently transfer responsibility to plug the

28

well under section 3220 to the recipient of the transferred

29

permit or registration.

30

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

- 45 -

 


1

establish by regulation requirements for the permitting and

2

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

3

conduct abandoned or orphan well operations shall first obtain a

4

permit to operate an abandoned or orphan well.

5

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

6

management:

7

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

8

sources within this Commonwealth for the drilling or

9

hydraulic fracture stimulation of any natural gas well

10

completed in an unconventional gas formation, whether on or

11

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

12

accordance with a water management plan approved by the

13

department.

14

(2)  The department shall review and approve water

15

management plans based upon a determination that the proposed

16

withdrawal, when operated in accordance with the proposed

17

withdrawal operating conditions set forth in the plan,

18

including conditions relating to quantity, withdrawal rate

19

and timing and any passby flow conditions, will:

20

(i)  not adversely affect the quantity or quality of

21

water available to other users of the same water sources;

22

(ii)  protect and maintain the designated and

23

existing uses of water sources; and

24

(iii)  not cause adverse impact to water quality in

25

the watershed considered as a whole.

26

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

27

presumed to be achieved if the proposed water withdrawal

28

has been approved by and is operated in accordance with

29

conditions established by the Susquehanna River Basin

30

Commission, the Delaware River Basin Commission or the

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1

Great Lakes Commission, as applicable.

2

(ii)  Notwithstanding subparagraph (i), the

3

department may establish additional requirements as

4

necessary to comply with the laws of this Commonwealth.

5

(4)  In addition to the requirements under paragraphs

6

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

7

management plan shall be a condition of any permit issued

8

under this chapter for the drilling or hydraulic fracture

9

stimulation of any natural gas well completed in an

10

unconventional formation and shall be deemed to satisfy the

11

laws of this Commonwealth.

12

§ 3212.  Permit objections.

13

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

14

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

15

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

16

surface landowner affected shall be notified of the intent to

17

drill and may file objections, in accordance with section 3251

18

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

19

location violates section 3215 (relating to well location

20

restrictions) or that information in the application is untrue

21

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

22

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

23

notice by the surface owner shall be presumed to have occurred

24

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

25

operator submits a copy of the certified mail receipt sent to

26

the surface owner and an affidavit certifying that the address

27

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

28

address listed in the assessment books in the county where the

29

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

30

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

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1

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

2

landowner is filed with the department and no objection is

3

raised by the department within 15 days of filing, the

4

department shall proceed to issue or deny the permit.

5

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

6

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

7

operating coal mine or a coal mine already projected and platted

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

operator affected may file objections under section 3251 to the

13

proposed location within 15 days of the receipt by the coal

14

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

15

alternative location at which the proposed well could be drilled

16

to overcome the objections shall be indicated. If no objection

17

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

18

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

19

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

20

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

21

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

22

the department shall proceed to issue or deny the permit.

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

to allow the parties to consider the objection and attempt to

28

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

29

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

30

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

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1

judgment of the department, the well can be safely drilled

2

without unduly interfering with or endangering the mine as

3

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

4

parties or determined by the department shall be indicated on

5

the plat on file with the department and become a permanent

6

record upon which the department shall proceed to issue or deny

7

the permit.

8

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

9

operations, the coal operator shall accurately locate the well

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

operator.

14

§ 3212.1.  Comments by municipalities.

15

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

16

upon which the unconventional well to be drilled is located may

17

submit written comments to the department describing local

18

conditions or circumstances which the municipality has

19

determined should be considered by the department in rendering

20

its determination on the unconventional well permit. A comment

21

under this subsection must be submitted to the department within

22

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

23

(relating to well permits). The municipality shall

24

simultaneously forward a copy of its comments to the permit

25

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

26

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

27

written response must be submitted to the department within ten

28

days of receipt of the comments of the municipality.

29

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

30

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

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1

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

2

restrictions).

3

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

4

this section shall not extend the time period for the issuance

5

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

6

chapter.

7

§ 3213.  Well registration and identification.

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

which no drilling permit has been issued by the department,

12

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

13

operator who registers under this subsection and a well owner or

14

operator who has previously registered a well under this chapter

15

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

16

property which the well owner or operator owns or leases and

17

request approval from the department for classification of the

18

well as an orphan well. Information regarding wells to be

19

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

20

manner prescribed by the department, and shall include:

21

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

22

the well operator is a corporation, partnership or person

23

nonresident of this Commonwealth, the name and address of an

24

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

25

other communications issued under this chapter may be served.

26

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

27

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

28

topographic map or any other location description sufficient

29

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

30

(3)  The approximate date of drilling and completing the

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1

well, its approximate depth and producing horizons, well

2

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

3

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

4

bonding or other evidence of financial security submitted by

5

the well operator and deemed appropriate by the department

6

and satisfying the requirements of section 3225 (relating to

7

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

8

financial security shall be required for identification of an

9

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

10

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

11

years to comply with the provisions of this paragraph.

12

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

13

registration fee of $250 for multiple well registration

14

applications submitted simultaneously. The registration fee

15

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

16

charged for identification of an orphan well.

17

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

18

operator or other person discovering an abandoned well on

19

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

20

other person shall identify it to the department within 60 days

21

of discovery and advise the department that he is seeking

22

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

23

required for identification.

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

The department may adopt and promulgate guidelines designed to

28

ensure a fair implementation of this section, recognizing the

29

practical difficulties of locating unpermitted wells and

30

complying with the reporting requirements of this chapter.

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1

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

2

shall install the registration number issued by the department

3

in a legible, conspicuous and permanent manner on the well

4

within 60 days of issuance.

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

control over, the drilling or extraction operation of the

10

abandoned well.

11

§ 3214.  Inactive status.

12

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

13

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

14

or registered well, if the following requirements are met:

15

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

16

damage to the producing zone or contamination of fresh water

17

or other natural resources or surface leakage of any

18

substance;

19

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

20

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

21

adequate to protect freshwater aquifers, unless the

22

department determines the well poses a threat to the health

23

and safety of persons or property or to the environment;

24

(3)  the operator anticipates construction of a pipeline

25

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

26

gas storage, approved disposal or other appropriate uses

27

related to oil and gas well production; and

28

(4)  the applicant satisfies the bonding requirements of

29

sections 3213 (relating to well registration and

30

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

- 52 -

 


1

the department may require additional financial security for

2

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

3

bonding under section 3225(d).

4

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

5

inactive status shall be responsible for monitoring the

6

mechanical integrity of the well to ensure that the requirements

7

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

8

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

9

prescribed by departmental regulations.

10

(c)  (Reserved).

11

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

12

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

13

3220 (relating to plugging requirements) or returned to active

14

status within five years of the date inactive status was

15

granted, unless the owner or operator applies for an extension

16

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

17

if the department determines that the owner or operator has

18

demonstrated ability to continue meeting the requirements of

19

this section and the owner or operator certifies that the well

20

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

21

owner or operator who has been granted inactive status for a

22

well which is returned to active status prior to expiration of

23

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

24

the department that the well has been returned to active status

25

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

26

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

27

operator may make application to return the well to inactive

28

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

29

basis if the department determines that the owner or operator

30

has demonstrated an ability to continue meeting the requirements

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1

of this section and the owner or operator certifies that the

2

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

3

The department shall approve or deny an application to extend a

4

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

5

within 60 days of receipt of the application, and the

6

application shall not be unreasonably denied. If the department

7

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

8

the inactive status shall continue until the department has made

9

a determination on the request. If the department denies an

10

application to extend the period of inactive status or to return

11

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

12

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

13

Environmental Hearing Board within 30 days of receipt of the

14

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

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

during the period of the appeal.

19

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

20

revoke inactive status and order immediate plugging of a well if

21

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

22

promulgated under this chapter or if the owner or operator

23

demonstrates inability to perform obligations under this chapter

24

or becomes financially insolvent, or upon receipt by the

25

department of notice of bankruptcy proceedings by the permittee.

26

§ 3215.  Well location restrictions.

27

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

28

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

29

horizontally from the vertical well bore to a building or water

30

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

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1

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

2

consent of the owner of the building or water well.

3

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

4

measured horizontally from the vertical well bore to any

5

existing water well, surface water intake, reservoir or other

6

water supply extraction point used by a water purveyor without

7

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

8

obtained and the distance restriction would deprive the owner of

9

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

10

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

11

be granted a variance from the distance restriction upon

12

submission of a plan identifying the additional measures,

13

facilities or practices as prescribed by the department to be

14

employed during well site construction, drilling and operations.

15

The variance, if granted, shall include additional terms and

16

conditions required by the department to ensure safety and

17

protection of affected persons and property, including

18

insurance, bonding, indemnification and technical requirements.

19

(b)  Limitation.--

20

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

21

case of an unconventional well, 300 feet measured

22

horizontally from any solid blue lined stream as identified

23

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

24

of the United States Geological Survey.

25

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

26

unconventional well must maintain a 100-foot setback from the

27

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

28

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

29

States Geological Survey.

30

(3)  No unconventional well may be drilled within 300

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1

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

2

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

3

from the boundary of the wetlands.

4

(4)  The department shall waive the distance restrictions

5

upon submission of a plan identifying additional measures,

6

facilities or practices to be employed during well site

7

construction, drilling and operations. The waiver shall impose

8

permit conditions necessary to protect the waters of this

9

Commonwealth.

10

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

11

department shall consider impact of the proposed well on public

12

resources, including, but not limited to:

13

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

14

wildlife areas.

15

(2)  National or State scenic rivers.

16

(3)  National natural landmarks.

17

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

18

other critical communities.

19

(5)  Historical and archaeological sites listed on the

20

Federal or State list of historic places.

21

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

22

may consider the comments submitted under section 3212.1

23

(relating to comments by municipalities) in making a

24

determination on a well permit. Notwithstanding any other law,

25

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

26

review from the department's decision.

27

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

28

shall develop by regulation criteria:

29

(1)  For the department to utilize for conditioning a

30

well permit based on its impact to the public resources

- 56 -

 


1

identified under subsection (c) and for ensuring optimal

2

development of oil and gas resources and respecting property

3

rights of oil and gas owners.

4

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

5

permit containing conditions imposed by the department. The

6

regulations shall also provide that the department has the

7

burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the

8

conditions were necessary to protect against a probable

9

harmful impact of the public resources.

10

(3)  For processes and procedures for the adjudication of

11

compensation claims of affected owners, if any conditions or

12

restrictions imposed by application of the criteria developed

13

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

14

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

15

in the oil as gas underlying the surface tract or tracts

16

affected by imposition of any condition or conditions.

17

(f)  Floodplains.--

18

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

19

any floodplain if the well site will have:

20

(i)  a pit or impoundment containing drilling

21

cuttings, flowback water, produced water or hazardous

22

materials, chemicals or wastes within the floodplain; or

23

(ii)  a tank containing hazardous materials,

24

chemicals, condensate, wastes, flowback or produced water

25

within the floodway.

26

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

27

restriction waiver if the well site will have a tank

28

containing condensate, flowback or produced water within the

29

flood fringe unless all the tanks have adequate floodproofing

30

in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program

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1

standards and accepted engineering practices.

2

(3)  The department may waive restrictions upon

3

submission of a plan that shall identify the additional

4

measures, facilities or practices to be employed during well

5

site construction, drilling and operations. The waiver, if

6

granted, shall impose permit conditions necessary to protect

7

the waters of this Commonwealth.

8

(4)  Best practices to ensure the protection of the

9

waters of this Commonwealth must be utilized for the storage

10

and handling of all water, chemicals, fuels, hazardous

11

materials or solid waste on a well site located in a

12

floodplain. The department may request that the well site

13

operator submit a plan for the storage and handling of

14

materials for approval by the department and may impose

15

conditions or amend permits to include permit conditions as

16

are necessary to protect the environment, public health and

17

safety.

18

(5)  Unless otherwise specified by the department, the

19

boundary of the floodplain shall be as indicated on maps and

20

flood insurance studies provided by the Federal Emergency

21

Management Agency. In an area where no Federal Emergency

22

Management Agency maps or studies have defined the boundary

23

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

24

contrary, the floodplain shall extend from:

25

(i)  any perennial stream up to 100 feet horizontally

26

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

27

(ii)  from any intermittent stream up to 50 feet

28

horizontally from the top of the bank of the intermittent

29

stream.

30

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

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1

not apply to any of the following:

2

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

3

effective date of this subsection.

4

(2)  A well permit application submitted after the

5

effective date of this subsection for a well that will be

6

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

7

a valid permit that was approved before the effective date of

8

this subsection.

9

§ 3215.1.  General restrictions.

10

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

11

at natural gas compressed stations, dehydration and processing

12

facilities and other central processing facilities to secure all

13

permanent buildings, facilities, structures and equipment and to

14

protect the public. Warning signs shall be placed on the

15

security fencing providing notice of potential dangers and

16

providing contact information in case of an emergency.

17

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

18

temporary operations, such as well drilling and completion

19

operations:

20

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

21

security fencing shall be installed at the oil or gas well

22

site to secure all buildings, facilities, structures and

23

equipment at the site and to protect the public. Warning

24

signs shall be placed at the well site providing notice of

25

potential dangers and providing contact information in case

26

of an emergency.

27

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

28

well owner or operator may establish 24-hour security

29

staffing at the site and install a security gate at the

30

entrance of the access road to prevent unauthorized access.

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1

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

2

buildings, facilities and structures directly related to oil and

3

gas operations, either temporary or permanent, shall be directed

4

downward and inward toward the activity, to the extent

5

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

6

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

7

facility or structure.

8

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

9

comply with all applicable noise regulations promulgated by the

10

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, except that the noise

11

level from permanent oil and gas operations may not exceed 60

12

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

13

oil and gas operations are being conducted. Any compressor

14

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

15

building such that the noise level immediately outside such

16

building does not exceed 60 dBA.

17

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

18

comply with each applicable environmental law governing the

19

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

20

discharge of gases, vapors and odors during oil and gas

21

operations may not unreasonably interfere with the comfortable

22

enjoyment of life or property.

23

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

24

unconventional natural gas wells.

25

§ 3216.  Well site restoration.

26

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

27

shall restore the land surface within the area disturbed in

28

siting, drilling, completing and producing the well.

29

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

30

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

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1

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

2

erosion and sedimentation control measures shall be implemented

3

in accordance with an erosion and sedimentation control plan

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove

10

all drilling supplies and equipment not needed for production.

11

Drilling supplies and equipment not needed for production may be

12

stored on the well site if express written consent of the

13

surface landowner is obtained.

14

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

15

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

16

all production or storage facilities, supplies and equipment and

17

restore the well site.

18

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

19

this chapter or in regulations promulgated under this chapter

20

shall also comply with all applicable provisions of The Clean

21

Streams Law.

22

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

23

as required in this chapter or regulations promulgated under

24

this chapter constitutes a violation of this chapter.

25

(g)  Extension.--

26

(1)  The restoration period may be extended by the

27

department for an additional period of time not to exceed two

28

years upon demonstration by the well owner or operator that:

29

(i)  the extension will result in less earth

30

disturbance, increased water reuse or more efficient

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1

development of the resources; or

2

(ii)  site restoration cannot be achieved due to

3

adverse weather conditions or a lack of essential fuel,

4

equipment or labor.

5

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

6

of the following:

7

(i)  Include a site restoration plan that shall

8

provide for:

9

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

10

to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes;

11

(B)  the removal of all drilling supplies and

12

equipment not needed for production;

13

(C)  the stabilization of the well site that

14

shall include interim postconstruction storm water

15

management best management practices; or

16

(D)  other measures to be employed to minimize

17

accelerated erosion and sedimentation in accordance

18

with The Clean Streams Law.

19

(ii)  Provide for returning the portions of the site

20

not occupied by production facilities or equipment to

21

approximate original contours and making them capable of

22

supporting the uses that existed prior to drilling the

23

well.

24

(3)  The department may condition an extension under this

25

subsection as is necessary in accordance with The Clean

26

Streams Law.

27

§ 3217.  Protection of fresh groundwater and casing

28

requirements.

29

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

30

groundwater, well operators shall control and dispose of brines

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1

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

2

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

3

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

4

or regulation promulgated under The Clean Streams Law.

5

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

6

sources of fresh groundwater and pollution or diminution of

7

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

8

and permanently cemented in each well drilled through the fresh

9

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

10

regulation by the department.

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

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

15

been removed in a manner prescribed by regulation of the

16

department. The department and the coal operator, owner or

17

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

18

commencement of work protecting the mine.

19

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

20

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

21

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

22

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

23

the points and in the manner prescribed by regulation to exclude

24

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

25

naturally in the seam itself, and to enable monitoring the

26

integrity of the production casing.

27

§ 3218.  Protection of water supplies.

28

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

29

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

30

private water supply by pollution or diminution shall restore or

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1

replace the affected supply with an alternate source of water

2

adequate in quantity or quality for the purposes served by the

3

supply. The department shall ensure the restored or replaced

4

water supply meets the applicable water quality standards

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

Drinking Water Act, and predrilling or alteration water quality

9

standards as determined by the department. The Environmental

10

Quality Board shall promulgate regulations necessary to meet the

11

requirements of this subsection.

12

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

13

water purveyor suffering pollution or diminution of a water

14

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

15

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

16

an investigation be conducted. Within ten days of notification,

17

the department shall investigate the claim and make a

18

determination within 45 days following notification. If the

19

department finds that the pollution or diminution was caused by

20

drilling, alteration or operation activities or if it presumes

21

the well operator responsible for pollution under subsection

22

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

23

necessary to assure compliance with subsection (a), including

24

orders requiring temporary replacement of a water supply where

25

it is determined that pollution or diminution may be of limited

26

duration.

27

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

28

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

29

proposed gas well using hydraulic fracturing, the well permit

30

applicant shall conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey,

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1

using a facility or laboratory certified by the department, and

2

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

3

predrilling or prealteration survey shall provide at a minimum

4

the testing results for chemicals or chemical compounds known to

5

be commonly used for hydraulic fracturing, including all major

6

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

7

xylenes, manganese, dissolved methane, total dissolved solids,

8

chlorides, nutrients and radionuclides.

9

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

10

single Statewide toll-free telephone number that persons may use

11

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

12

telephone number shall be provided in a conspicuous manner in

13

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

14

department's Internet website.

15

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

16

administrative responses to calls received on the Statewide

17

toll-free number for water contamination.

18

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

19

that lists the confirmed cases of water supply contamination

20

that result from hydraulic fracturing.

21

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

22

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

23

responsible for pollution of a water supply if:

24

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

25

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

26

or gas well; and

27

(ii)  the pollution occurred within six months after

28

completion of drilling or alteration of the oil or gas

29

well; or

30

(2)  in the case of an unconventional well:

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1

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

2

unconventional well; and

3

(ii)  the pollution occurred within 12 months of the

4

later of completion, drilling or alteration of the

5

unconventional well.

6

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

7

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

8

the following:

9

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

10

(i)  the pollution existed prior to the drilling or

11

alteration activity as determined by a predrilling or

12

prealteration survey;

13

(ii)  the landowner or water purveyor refused to

14

allow the operator access to conduct a predrilling or

15

prealteration survey;

16

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

17

the well;

18

(iv)  the pollution occurred more than six months

19

after completion of drilling or alteration activities;

20

and

21

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

22

other than the drilling or alteration activity; or

23

(2)  in the case of an unconventional well:

24

(i)  the pollution existed prior to the drilling or

25

alteration activity as determined by a predrilling or

26

prealteration survey;

27

(ii)  the landowner or water purveyor refused to

28

allow the operator access to conduct a predrilling or

29

prealteration survey;

30

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

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1

the well; and

2

(iv)  the pollution occurred more than 12 months

3

after completion of drilling or alteration activities.

4

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

5

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

6

retain an independent certified laboratory to conduct a

7

predrilling or prealteration survey of the water supply. A copy

8

of survey results shall be submitted to the department and the

9

landowner or water purveyor in the manner prescribed by the

10

department.

11

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

12

the landowner or water purveyor indicating that the presumption

13

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

14

water purveyor refused to allow the operator access to conduct a

15

predrilling or prealteration survey.

16

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

17

prevent a landowner or water purveyor claiming pollution or

18

diminution of a water supply from seeking any other remedy at

19

law or in equity.

20

§ 3219.  Use of safety devices.

21

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

22

it with casings of sufficient strength, and other safety devices

23

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

24

department, and shall use every effort and endeavor effectively

25

to prevent blowouts, explosions and fires.

26

§ 3219.1.  Well control emergency response.

27

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

28

well control specialists in order to provide adequate emergency

29

response services in the event of a well control emergency.

30

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

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1

a well control specialist with which the department has entered

2

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

3

liability for actions taken in good faith to carry out its

4

contractual obligations.

5

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

6

damage arising from any of the following:

7

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

8

(2)  An intentional tort.

9

(3)  Gross negligence.

10

§ 3220.  Plugging requirements.

11

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

12

operator shall plug it in the manner prescribed by regulation of

13

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

14

well bore, unless the department has granted inactive status for

15

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

16

well. If the department determines that a prior owner or

17

operator received economic benefit, other than economic benefit

18

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

19

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

20

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

21

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

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

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

28

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

29

well shall be plugged from that depth in accordance with section

30

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

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1

the Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act, and the regulations

2

of the department.

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

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

15

to the notice of abandonment filed with the department under

16

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

17

operator has fully complied with this section, the well operator

18

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

19

prescribed by regulation of the department. When plugging has

20

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

21

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

22

qualified people who participated in the work setting forth the

23

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

24

certificate shall be mailed to each coal operator, lessee or

25

owner to whom notice was given by certified mail and another

26

shall be mailed to the department.

27

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

28

an uncompleted bore hole plugged immediately upon suspension of

29

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

30

well operator shall notify the department of the intention to

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1

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

2

furnished by the department, showing the location of the well

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

representative to be present at the plugging. The notice or

7

waiting period may be verbally waived by the department. In

8

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

9

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

10

plugged, the department shall be given three working days'

11

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

12

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

13

of subsequent wells, no additional notice shall be required if

14

plugging on the project is continuous. If plugging of subsequent

15

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

16

department of continuation of the project. Whether or not a

17

representative attends, if the well operator has fully complied

18

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

19

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

20

of the department. When plugging has been completed, a

21

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

22

department, by two experienced and qualified people who

23

participated in the work setting forth the time and manner in

24

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

25

mailed to the department.

26

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

27

is to be abandoned immediately after completion of drilling, the

28

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

29

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

30

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

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1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

operator has fully complied with the requirements of this

6

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

7

plug the well in the manner provided by regulation of the

8

department. The well operator shall prepare the certificate of

9

plugging and mail copies of the same as provided in subsection

10

(b).

11

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

12

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

13

registered under section 3213 (relating to well registration and

14

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

15

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

16

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

17

recover the costs of plugging. The department shall make an

18

effort to determine ownership of a well which is in operation

19

but has not been registered and provide written notice to the

20

owner of pending action under this subsection. If the department

21

cannot determine ownership within 30 days, it may proceed under

22

this subsection. Costs of plugging shall have priority over all

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

owner or operator of the abandoned or unregistered well shall be

28

liable for the additional costs.

29

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

30

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

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1

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

2

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

3

the drilling or extraction operation of the abandoned well.

4

§ 3221.  Alternative methods.

5

A well operator may request permission to use a method or

6

material other than those required by this chapter for casing,

7

plugging or equipping a well in an application to the department

8

which describes the proposed alternative in reasonable detail

9

and indicates the manner in which it will accomplish the goals

10

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

11

given by the well operator by certified mail to any affected

12

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

13

objections to the proposed alternative method or material. If no

14

timely objections are filed or raised by the department, the

15

department shall determine whether to allow use of the proposed

16

alternative method or material.

17

§ 3222.  Well reporting requirements.

18

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

19

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

20

provided by the department, an annual report specifying the

21

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

22

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

23

years only changes in status must be reported. The Commonwealth

24

may utilize reported information in enforcement proceedings, in

25

making designations or determinations under section 1927-A of

26

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

27

Administrative Code of 1929, or in aggregate form for

28

statistical purposes.

29

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

30

unconventional well shall file with the department, on a form

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1

provided by the department, a semiannual report specifying the

2

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

3

The initial report under this subsection shall be filed on or

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

Subsequent semiannual reports shall be filed with the department

8

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

9

include production data from the preceding reporting period. The

10

Commonwealth may utilize reported information in enforcement

11

proceedings, in making designations or determinations under

12

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

13

aggregate form for statistical purposes. Beginning November 1,

14

2010, the department shall make the reports available on its

15

publicly accessible Internet website. Costs incurred by the

16

department to comply with the requirements of this subsection

17

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

18

(relating to well permits).

19

(b)  Collection of data.--

20

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

21

drilled or altered.

22

(2)  A record containing the information required by the

23

department shall be filed within 30 days of cessation of

24

drilling of each well.

25

(3)  A completion report containing any additional

26

required information shall be filed within 30 days after

27

completing the well and shall be kept on file by the

28

department.

29

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

30

stimulation record. At a minimum, the stimulation record

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1

shall contain pump rates, pressures, total volume used to

2

stimulate the well, a list of hazardous and other

3

chemicals used to stimulate the well, volume of water

4

used, identification of water sources used under a

5

department-approved water management plan and depth at

6

which potable aquifers are encountered during drilling.

7

The well operator may designate specific portions of the

8

stimulation record as containing a trade secret or

9

confidential proprietary information. The department

10

shall prevent disclosure of designated confidential

11

information to the extent permitted under the act of

12

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

13

Know Law.

14

(ii)  The completion report shall identify:

15

(A)  whether methane was encountered in other

16

than a target formation; and

17

(B)  the country of origin and manufacture of the

18

steel products used in the construction of the well.

19

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

20

the department and posted on the department's publicly

21

accessible Internet website.

22

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

23

shall, within 90 days of completion or recompletion of

24

drilling, submit a copy of any electrical, radioactive or

25

other standard industry logs which have been run. No

26

information under this paragraph shall be required unless the

27

well operator has compiled the information in the ordinary

28

course of business.

29

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

30

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

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1

formation water analysis, porosity, permeability or fluid

2

saturation measurements, core analysis and lithologic log or

3

sample description or other similar data as compiled. No

4

information under this paragraph shall be required unless the

5

well operator had it compiled in the ordinary course of

6

business, and interpretation of data under this paragraph is

7

not required to be filed.

8

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

9

the department prior to commencement of drilling, the well

10

operator shall collect any additional data specified by the

11

department, including representative drill cuttings and samples

12

from cores taken and any other geological information that the

13

operator reasonably can compile. Interpretation of the data is

14

not required to be filed.

15

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

16

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

17

shall be retained by the well operator and filed with the

18

department no more than three years after completion of the

19

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

20

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

21

department shall be entitled to utilize information collected

22

under this subsection in enforcement proceedings, in making

23

designations or determinations under section 1927-A of The

24

Administrative Code of 1929 and in aggregate form for

25

statistical purposes.

26

§ 3223.  Notification and effect of well transfer.

27

The owner or operator of a well shall notify the department

28

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

29

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

30

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

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1

or operator of an obligation accrued under this chapter, nor

2

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

3

the well until the requirements of section 3225 (relating to

4

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

5

operator shall be relieved from all obligations under this

6

chapter, including the obligation to plug the well.

7

§ 3224.  Coal operator responsibilities.

8

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

9

other underground materials from, or extending the workings in,

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

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

15

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

16

prepare and file with the department, showing the pillar which

17

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

18

gas well in the projected workings. Thereafter, the coal

19

operator may proceed with mining operations in the manner

20

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

21

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

22

well location without written approval under this section. If,

23

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

24

indicates that the proposed pillar is inadequate to protect

25

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

26

the affected well operator shall attempt to reach an agreement

27

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

28

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

29

within ten days after receipt of the proposed plan under this

30

section, file objections under section 3251 (relating to

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1

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

2

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

3

has none, the department shall grant approval, reciting that

4

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

5

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

6

approved in the manner as projected.

7

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

8

operator or raised by the department, the department shall order

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

which will satisfy the objections and receive department

14

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

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

department, by appropriate order, shall determine the pillar to

20

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

21

section, the department shall follow as nearly as is possible

22

the original plan filed by the coal operator. The department

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

conditions is established. Pillars determined by the department

27

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

28

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

29

pillar to be left for each well.

30

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

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1

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

2

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

3

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

4

the department shall:

5

(1)  follow the appropriate procedure under subsection

6

(a) or (b);

7

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

8

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

9

application; and

10

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

11

respect to each well.

12

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

13

of the department after notice and opportunity for a hearing

14

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

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

nothing in this chapter shall be construed to:

20

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

21

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

22

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

23

pillar; or

24

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

25

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

26

pay for the coal pillar.

27

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

28

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

29

completely remove any pillar from around that well shall file a

30

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

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1

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

2

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

3

approval has been granted by the department in accordance with

4

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

5

shall have the authority to establish conditions under which the

6

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

7

plugged oil or gas well.

8

§ 3225.  Bonding.

9

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

10

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

11

application for a well permit, and before continuing to

12

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

13

shall file with the department a bond covering the well and

14

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

15

department. A bond filed with an application for a well

16

permit shall be payable to the Commonwealth and conditioned

17

upon the operator's faithful performance of all drilling,

18

water supply replacement, restoration and plugging

19

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

20

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

21

conditioned upon the operator's faithful performance of all

22

water supply replacement, restoration and plugging

23

requirements of this chapter. The amount of the bond required

24

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

25

Environmental Quality Board every two years to reflect the

26

projected costs to the Commonwealth of plugging the well:

27

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

28

than 6,000 feet:

29

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

30

well; but no bond may be required under this clause

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1

in excess of $35,000.

2

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

3

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

4

but no bond may be required under this clause in

5

excess of $60,000.

6

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

7

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

8

but no bond may be required under this clause in

9

excess of $100,000.

10

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

11

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

12

wells; but no bond may be required under this clause

13

in excess of $250,000.

14

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

15

than 6,000 feet:

16

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

17

well; but no bond may be required under this clause

18

in excess of $60,000.

19

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

20

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

21

but no bond may be required under this clause in

22

excess of $120,000.

23

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

24

$10,000 per well for each well in excess of 50 wells;

25

but no bond may be required under this clause in

26

excess of $180,000.

27

(D)  For operating more than 150 wells, $180,000

28

plus $10,000 per well for each well in excess of 150

29

wells; but no bond may be required under this clause

30

in excess of $250,000.

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1

(2)  In lieu of individual bonds for each well, an owner

2

or operator may file a blanket bond for the applicable amount

3

under paragraph (1), on a form prepared by the department,

4

covering all of its wells in this Commonwealth, as enumerated

5

on the bond form.

6

(3)  Liability under the bond shall continue until the

7

well has been properly plugged in accordance with this

8

chapter and for a period of one year after filing of the

9

certificate of plugging with the department. Each bond shall

10

be executed by the operator and a corporate surety licensed

11

to do business in this Commonwealth and approved by the

12

secretary. In lieu of a corporate surety, the operator may

13

deposit with the department:

14

(i)  cash;

15

(ii)  certificates of deposit or automatically

16

renewable irrevocable letters of credit, from financial

17

institutions chartered or authorized to do business in

18

this Commonwealth and regulated and examined by the

19

Commonwealth or a Federal agency, which may be terminated

20

at the end of a term only upon 90 days' prior written

21

notice by the financial institution to the permittee and

22

the department;

23

(iii)  negotiable bonds of the United States

24

Government or the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Turnpike

25

Commission, the General State Authority, the State Public

26

School Building Authority or any municipality within the

27

Commonwealth; or

28

(iv)  United States Treasury Bonds issued at a

29

discount without a regular schedule of interest payments

30

to maturity, otherwise known as Zero Coupon Bonds, having

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1

a maturity date of not more than ten years after the date

2

of purchase and at the maturity date having a value of

3

not less than the applicable amount under paragraph (1).

4

The cash deposit, certificate of deposit, amount of the

5

irrevocable letter of credit or market value of the

6

securities shall be equal at least to the sum of the

7

bond.

8

(4)  The secretary shall, upon receipt of a deposit of

9

cash, letters of credit or negotiable bonds, immediately

10

place the same with the State Treasurer, whose duty it shall

11

be to receive and hold the same in the name of the

12

Commonwealth, in trust, for the purpose for which the deposit

13

is made.

14

(5)  The State Treasurer shall at all times be

15

responsible for custody and safekeeping of deposits. The

16

operator making the deposit shall be entitled from time to

17

time to demand and receive from the State Treasurer, on the

18

written order of the secretary, the whole or any portion of

19

collateral deposited, upon depositing with the State

20

Treasurer, in lieu of that collateral, other collateral of

21

classes specified in this section having a market value at

22

least equal to the sum of the bond, and also to demand,

23

receive and recover the interest and income from the

24

negotiable bonds as they become due and payable.

25

(6)  If negotiable bonds on deposit under this subsection

26

mature or are called, the State Treasurer, at the request of

27

the owner of the bonds, shall convert them into other

28

negotiable bonds, of classes specified in this section,

29

designated by the owner.

30

(7)  If notice of intent to terminate a letter of credit

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1

is given, the department shall give the operator 30 days'

2

written notice to replace the letter of credit with other

3

acceptable bond guarantees as provided in this section. If

4

the owner or operator fails to timely replace the letter of

5

credit, the department shall draw upon and convert the letter

6

of credit into cash and hold it as a collateral bond

7

guarantee.

8

(b)  Release.--No bond shall be fully released until the

9

requirements of subsection (a) and section 3223 (relating to

10

notification and effect of well transfer) have been fully met.

11

Upon release of bonds and collateral under this section, the

12

State Treasurer shall immediately return to the owner the

13

specified amount of cash or securities.

14

(c)  Noncompliance.--If a well owner or operator fails or

15

refuses to comply with subsection (a), regulations promulgated

16

under this chapter or conditions of a permit relating to this

17

chapter, the department may declare the bond forfeited and shall

18

certify the same to the Attorney General, who shall proceed to

19

enforce and collect the full amount of the bond and, if the well

20

owner or operator has deposited cash or securities as collateral

21

in lieu of a corporate surety, the department shall declare the

22

collateral forfeited and direct the State Treasurer to pay the

23

full amount of the funds into the Well Plugging Restricted

24

Revenue Account or to sell the security to the extent forfeited

25

and pay the proceeds into the Well Plugging Restricted Revenue

26

Account. If a corporate surety or financial institution fails to

27

pay a forfeited bond promptly and in full, the corporate surety

28

or financial institution shall be disqualified from writing

29

further bonds under this chapter or any other environmental law

30

administered by the department. A person aggrieved by reason of

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1

forfeiting the bond or converting collateral, as provided in

2

this section, shall have a right to appeal to the Environmental

3

Hearing Board in the manner provided by law. Upon forfeiture of

4

a blanket bond for a violation occurring at one or more well

5

sites, the person whose bond is forfeited shall, within ten days

6

of the forfeiture, submit a replacement bond to cover all other

7

wells of which the person is an owner or operator. Failure to

8

submit the replacement bond constitutes a violation of this

9

section as to each of the wells owned or operated by the person.

10

(d)  Alternatives to certain bonds.--The following shall

11

apply:

12

(1)  An operator of not more than 200 wells who cannot

13

obtain a bond for a well drilled prior to April 18, 1985, as

14

required under subsection (a), due to inability to

15

demonstrate sufficient financial resources may, in lieu of

16

the bond:

17

(i)  Submit to the department a fee in the amount of

18

$50 per well, a blanket fee of $500 for ten to 20 wells

19

or a blanket fee of $1,000 for more than 20 wells, which

20

shall be a nonrefundable fee paid each year that the

21

operator has not filed a bond with the department. All

22

fees collected in lieu of a bond under this subsection

23

shall be used for the purposes authorized by this

24

chapter. The Environmental Quality Board shall have the

25

power, by regulation, to increase the amount of the fees

26

established under this subsection.

27

(ii)  Make phased deposits of collateral to fully

28

collateralize the bond, subject to the following:

29

(A)  Payment shall be based on the number of

30

wells owned or operated. The operator shall make an

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1

initial deposit and make annual deposits in

2

accordance with the schedule in clause (B). Interest

3

accumulated by the collateral shall become a part of

4

the bond until the collateral plus accumulated

5

interest equals the amount of the required bond. The

6

collateral shall be deposited, in trust, with the

7

State Treasurer as provided in this subsection or

8

with a bank selected by the department which shall

9

act as trustee for the benefit of the Commonwealth to

10

guarantee the operator's compliance with the

11

drilling, water supply replacement, restoration and

12

plugging requirements of this chapter. The operator

13

shall be required to pay all costs of the trust.

14

(B)  An operator of up to ten existing wells who

15

does not intend to operate additional wells shall

16

deposit $250 per well and shall, thereafter, annually

17

deposit $50 per well until the obligations of this

18

section are fully met. An operator of 11 to 25 wells

19

or an operator of up to ten wells who applies for one

20

or more permits for additional wells shall deposit

21

$2,000 and shall, thereafter, annually deposit $1,150

22

plus $150 for each additional well to be permitted

23

that year until the obligations of this section are

24

fully met. An operator of 26 to 50 wells shall

25

deposit $3,000 and shall, thereafter, annually

26

deposit $1,300 plus $400 for each additional well to

27

be permitted that year until the obligations of this

28

section are fully met. An operator of 51 to 100 wells

29

shall deposit $4,000 and shall, thereafter, annually

30

deposit $1,500 plus $400 for each additional well to

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1

be permitted that year until the obligations of this

2

section are fully met. Operators of 101 to 200 wells

3

shall deposit $8,000 and shall, thereafter, annually

4

deposit $1,600 plus $1,000 for each additional well

5

to be permitted that year until the obligations of

6

this section are fully met. Operators of more than

7

200 wells shall fully bond their wells immediately.

8

(C)  The department shall reduce the amount of

9

phased collateral payments or the period of time over

10

which phased collateral payments shall be made on

11

behalf of owners or operators who, prior to August 1,

12

1992, have paid a fee in lieu of bond under

13

subparagraph (i), and who, by August 1, 1993, choose

14

to enter the phased collateral program under this

15

subparagraph rather than continue to make payments in

16

lieu of bond. Payments made prior to August 1, 1992,

17

in lieu of bond shall not be credited in any other

18

manner, and the department shall not be required to

19

refund the fees. The Environmental Quality Board, by

20

regulation, may change the annual deposits

21

established under clause (B) if necessary to

22

accommodate a change in the amount of the bond

23

required under this section.

24

(2)  An operator may continue to pay a fee in lieu of

25

bond or make phased deposits of collateral to fully

26

collateralize the bond so long as the operator does not miss

27

a payment under this subsection and remains in compliance

28

with this chapter. If an operator misses a payment under this

29

subsection, the operator shall immediately:

30

(i)  submit the appropriate bond amount in full; or

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1

(ii)  cease all operations and plug all wells.

2

(d.1)  Individuals.--The following shall apply:

3

(1)  An individual who is unable to obtain a bond to

4

drill new wells due to inability to demonstrate financial

5

resources may meet the collateral bond requirements of

6

subsection (a) by making phased deposits of collateral to

7

fully collateralize the bond. The individual shall be limited

8

to drilling ten new wells per calendar year and, for each

9

well to be drilled, deposit $500 and make an annual deposit

10

of 10% of the remaining bond amount for a period of ten

11

years. Interest accumulated shall become a part of the bond

12

until the collateral plus accumulated interest equals the

13

amount of the required bond. The collateral shall be

14

deposited in trust with the State Treasurer under subsection

15

(a) or with a bank selected by the department which shall act

16

as trustee for the benefit of the Commonwealth to guarantee

17

the individual's compliance with the drilling, water supply

18

replacement, restoration and plugging requirements of this

19

chapter. The individual shall pay all costs of the trust.

20

(2)  Individuals may continue to use phased collateral to

21

obtain permits if they have not missed a payment for a well

22

drilled under this provision and remain in compliance with

23

this chapter. If an individual misses a payment, the

24

individual shall:

25

(i)  immediately submit the appropriate bond amount

26

in full; or

27

(ii)  cease all operations and plug all wells.

28

(3)  For purposes of this subsection, an "individual"

29

means a natural person doing business under his own name.

30

(e)  Reservation of remedies.--All remedies violating this

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1

chapter, regulations adopted under this chapter and conditions

2

of permits are expressly preserved. Nothing in this section

3

shall be construed as an exclusive penalty or remedy for

4

violations of law. No action taken under this section shall

5

waive or impair any other remedy or penalty provided in law.

6

(f)  Change of law.--Owners or operators who have failed to

7

meet the requirements of this section prior to August 1, 1992,

8

shall not be required to make payments under this section on a

9

retroactive basis as a condition of obtaining a permit under

10

this chapter, nor shall the failure be deemed a violation of

11

this chapter.

12

§ 3226.  Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board.

13

(a)  Creation of board.--The Oil and Gas Technical Advisory

14

Board is created, consisting of the following members, all of

15

whom shall be chosen by the Governor and shall be residents of

16

this Commonwealth:

17

(1)  Three individuals, each of whom shall be:

18

(i)  a petroleum engineer;

19

(ii)  a petroleum geologist; or

20

(iii)  an experienced driller representative of the

21

oil and gas industry with three years of experience in

22

this Commonwealth.

23

(2)  One mining engineer from the coal industry with

24

three years of experience in this Commonwealth.

25

(3)  One geologist or petroleum engineer with three years

26

of experience in this Commonwealth, who shall be chosen from

27

a list of three names submitted by the Citizens Advisory

28

Council to the Governor and who shall sit as a representative

29

of the public interest.

30

(b)  Reimbursement.--Board members shall not receive a salary

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1

but shall be reimbursed for all necessary expenses incurred in

2

the performance of their duties.

3

(c)  Majority vote.--All actions of the board shall be by

4

majority vote. The board shall meet as called by the secretary,

5

but not less than semiannually, to carry out its duties under

6

this chapter. The board shall select a chairman and other

7

officers deemed appropriate.

8

(d)  Consultation.--The department shall consult with the

9

board in the formulation, drafting and presentation stages of

10

all regulations of a technical nature promulgated under this

11

chapter. The board shall be given a reasonable opportunity to

12

review and comment on all regulations of a technical nature

13

prior to submission to the Environmental Quality Board for

14

initial consideration. The written report of the board shall be

15

presented to the Environmental Quality Board with any regulatory

16

proposal. The chairman of the board shall be invited to

17

participate in the presentation of all regulations of a

18

technical nature before the Environmental Quality Board to the

19

extent allowed by procedures of the Environmental Quality Board.

20

Nothing herein shall preclude any member of the board from

21

filing a petition for rulemaking with the Environmental Quality

22

Board in accordance with procedures established by the

23

Environmental Quality Board.

24

§ 3227.  Air contaminant emissions.

25

(a)  Protocols for air contaminant emissions.--No later than

26

three months after the effective date of this chapter, the

27

department shall publish protocols for the detection,

28

quantification and reporting of air contaminant emissions from

29

unconventional gas production processes including wellhead

30

activities and the storage of unconventional gas prior to

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1

processing.

2

(b)  Report on air contaminant emissions.--No later than nine

3

months after the effective date of this chapter, the department

4

shall publish for public comment a draft report quantifying

5

through measurements and calculations the total air contaminant

6

emissions in this Commonwealth from unconventional gas

7

development processes including wellhead activities and the

8

storage of unconventional gas prior to processing. The

9

department shall publish the final report no later than one year

10

after the effective date of this chapter. The department shall

11

publish a revised report every five years thereafter.

12

(c)  Use of best available scientific principles.--The

13

department shall use best available scientific principles in

14

developing the protocols and reports required by this section.

15

SUBCHAPTER C

16

UNDERGROUND GAS STORAGE

17

Sec.

18

3231.  Reporting requirements for gas storage operations.

19