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Mines and Mining
- Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing Incentive Grant Program. Provides annual grants for six years for an entity that, after January 1, 2002, (i) commences the manufacture of solar photovoltaic panels in the Commonwealth or (ii) expands its current manufacturing capacity by a certain level, makes a capital investment of at least $25 million, and employs a certain number of employees. The amount of the grant ranges from $0.25 to $0.75 per watt, and is based on the number of watts of the rated capacity of panels sold annually, the year in which they are sold, and whether certain investment targets and employment levels are met. An entity may not receive in the same year both grants relating to the initial manufacture of solar photovoltaic panels and grants for the expansion of production of such panels.
Patron - Grayson
- Mineral Mine Safety Act; annual reports. Provides that independent contractors shall file annual reports with the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy regarding the name of the independent contractor, the number of the independent contractor's employees working at each mine, the number of the independent contractor's employee hours worked at each mine, and the lump sum amount of wages paid by the independent contractor at each mine. The bill also provides that wage information in annual reports submitted to the Department shall be exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and shall not be published or opened to public inspection. The existing statute provides that the licensed operator of every mine shall file annual reports with the Department regarding the operator's employees, the quantity of minerals mined, and other information required by the Department. The bill incorporates HB 1154.
Patron - O'Brien
- Virginia Propane Education and Research Act; penalty. Creates the Virginia Propane Education and Research Board within the Department of Mining, Minerals and Energy to promote and develop the propane industry in the Commonwealth. The establishment of the Board and the funding of its activities are contingent upon the favorable outcome of a referendum on whether the members of the propane industry agree to be assessed one-tenth of one cent per gallon of propane sold per year in Virginia. The assessment will be used to fund the Virginia Propane Education and Research Fund. Moneys in the Fund are to be used in carrying out the provisions of the Act.
Patron - Hanger
- Mineral rights regarding migratory gases; presumption of ownership. Creates presumption that the owner of the surface real property is the owner of all migratory gases located beneath the surface real property. This presumption applies to all lease agreements entered into on or after July 1, 2000. A similar presumption regarding the ownership of migratory gases that was set forth in the Code was repealed in 1990.
Patron - Phillips
- Mineral Mine Safety Act; confidentiality of trade secrets. Provides that information in annual reports submitted to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy under the Mineral Mine Safety Act, including the names of the employees, agents, and officers of the licensed operator of a mine and the quantity of minerals mined, shall be considered confidential to the extent that such information is or might reveal a trade secret. Incorporated into HB 1439.
Patron - Weatherholtz
- Mining activity; applications for permits and surface effects of underground coal mining operation. Provides that a permit application for coal surface mining operations shall not be approved unless the applicant demonstrates to the Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy that the area proposed to be mined is not located under impoundments of water used for public water supply purposes, watercourses that supply a significant quantity of water to such impoundments, and adjacent areas reasonably necessary to protect the public water supply. The bill also requires the Director to suspend ongoing underground coal mining under such impoundments, watercourses, and adjacent areas if he finds imminent danger to the public water supply.
Patron - Phillips
- Virginia Gas and Oil Act; permit applications. Provides that a permit or proposed drilling unit shall be granted if, after a hearing to consider objections to a proposed drilling unit or location, a well operator and the objecting coal owners are unable to agree upon a drilling unit or location for a new well. The permit or proposed drilling unit will not, however, be granted if the Virginia Gas and Oil Board determines that the drilling unit or location will unreasonably interfere with the safe recovery of coal, oil, gas, or coalbed methane gas as proposed. The Board may also modify the drilling unit or location to permit the safe recovery of coal, oil, gas, or coalbed methane gas as proposed. In an application for a permit to drill a coalbed methane gas well or to convert any methane drainage borehole into a coalbed methane gas well, the consent from the operators of coal seams located within 750 feet of the proposed well location shall not be required where the coal seam is a stratum of coal deeper than 750 feet below the lowest surface elevation within 750 horizontal feet of the proposed well location. The consent from the operators of coal seams located within 750 feet of the proposed well location shall be deemed granted (i) if the applicant has obtained consent to stimulate the tracts comprising the majority of the acreage located within 750 feet of the proposed well location and title to the coal is held by multiple owners, or (ii) by order of the Board where (a) the applicant has exercised due diligence in attempting to obtain the consent of a coal operator, (b) the coal operator has withheld its consent, and (c) the proposed method of stimulation will not render the coal seam unworkable or impair mine safety.
Patron - Kilgore
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