Mines and Mining


Mine reclamation performance bonds. Eliminates two requirements that apply when letters of credit are used for such performance bonds: (i) the requirement limiting the amount of the letter of credit to that which can be insured by the FDIC and (ii) the requirement that a letter of credit issued by an out-of-state lending institution be confirmed by a Virginia lending institution.
Patron - Kilgore

National pollutant discharge elimination permits; penalties. Clarifies that the requirement that civil penalties imposed under the Virginia Coal Surface Mining and Reclamation Act be deposited into a special fund to be used for enhancing conservation and recreational opportunities in the coal-producing counties of the Commonwealth applies to civil penalties and civil charges imposed as a result of the Director's authority to issue, amend, revoke, and enforce national pollutant discharge elimination system permits.
Patron - Phillips

Mineral mining. Clarifies the responsibilities of licensed operators and independent contractors at mineral mines. The current definition of "operator" includes any independent contractor performing services or construction at a mine. The bill clarifies that many duties imposed by law are the responsibility of the operator to whom the mining license has been issued. For some duties, particularly those related to protecting the health and safety of those working at the mine, the licensed operator and the independent contractor each have responsibilities. Two members are added to the Board of Mineral Mining Examiners: one supervisory and one nonsupervisory employee of an independent contractor. Applicants for a mineral mine license must provide information about any independent contractors who will be working at the mine.
Patron - O'Brien

Coalbed methane operations; water supply replacement. Requires operators of coalbed methane wells to replace any water supply contaminated or partially or completely interrupted by an operation that is within 750 of a water well. The bill also requires surface owners to allow coalbed methane operators to sample water from such wells.
Patron - Stump

Gas and oil permits. Allows surface owners to object to a coalbed methane permit if the well or pipeline will unreasonably infringe on the surface owner's use of the surface, if a reasonable alternative site is available within the unit and granting the objection will not materially impair any right contained in an agreement between the surface owner and the operator.
Patron - Stump

Coalbed methane operations. Provides that the operator of any coalbed methane well drilled within 250 feet of a cemetery shall comply with a written request that he suspend operations for a period from two hours before to two hours after any burial service at such cemetery.
Patron - Stump

Virginia Gas and Oil Board. Requires the Governor to seek persons who reside in localities with significant oil or gas production or storage for appointments to the Gas and Oil Board.
Patron - Stump


Mining permits and licenses. Requires applicants for coal mine licenses and oil and gas permits to provide an abstract of title indicating ownership of the mineral rights encompassed by the mine or drilling tract.
Patron - Phillips

Coalbed methane well permits. Requires that applications for such permits include signed consent from every surface owner who owns any real property lying within 750 horizontal feet of the proposed well location.
Patron - Stump

Carried Over

Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program. Extends the program until December 31, 2003. Currently, the program is set to end on December 31, 2001.
Patron - Grayson

Coalbed methane well development. Requires that applications for coalbed methane well permits include a survey showing whether any subsidence or other damage to the surface is likely to occur and, if necessary, a subsidence control plan. Permit applicants must provide notice to surface owners six months before drilling and permittees must take certain actions to prevent surface damage and compensate surface owners or correct the damage if damage occurs. All of the requirements in the bill are based on those currently imposed on coal surface mining operators by regulation.
Patron - Stump

Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program. Extends the program until December 31, 2003. Currently, the program is set to end on December 31, 2001.
Patron - Norment