1509.08 Determinations if well in coal bearing township.

Upon receipt of an application for a permit required by section 1509.05 of the Revised Code, or upon receipt of an application for a permit to plug and abandon under section 1509.13 of the Revised Code, the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management shall determine whether the well is or is to be located in a coal bearing township.

Whether or not the well is or is to be located in a coal bearing township, the chief, by order, may refuse to issue a permit required by section 1509.05 of the Revised Code to any applicant who at the time of applying for the permit is in material or substantial violation of this chapter or rules adopted or orders issued under it. The chief shall refuse to issue a permit to any applicant who at the time of applying for the permit has been found liable by a final nonappealable order of a court of competent jurisdiction for damage to streets, roads, highways, bridges, culverts, or drainways pursuant to section 4513.34 or 5577.12 of the Revised Code until the applicant provides the chief with evidence of compliance with the order. No applicant shall attempt to circumvent this provision by applying for a permit under a different name or business organization name, by transferring responsibility to another person or entity, by abandoning the well or lease, or by any other similar act.

If the well is not or is not to be located in a coal bearing township, or if it is to be located in a coal bearing township, but the landowner submits an affidavit attesting to ownership of the property in fee simple, including the coal, and has no objection to the well, the chief shall issue the permit.

If the application to drill, reopen, or convert concerns a well that is or is to be located in a coal bearing township, the chief shall transmit to the chief of the division of mineral resources management two copies of the application and three copies of the map required in section 1509.06 of the Revised Code, except that, when the affidavit with the waiver of objection described above is submitted, the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management shall not transmit the copies.

The chief of the division of mineral resources management immediately shall notify the owner or lessee of any affected mine that the application has been filed and send to the owner or lessee two copies of the map accompanying the application setting forth the location of the well.

If the owner or lessee objects to the location of the well or objects to any location within fifty feet of the original location as a possible site for relocation of the well, the owner or lessee shall notify the chief of the division of mineral resources management of the objection, giving the reasons for the objection and, if applicable, indicating on a copy of the map the particular location or locations within fifty feet of the original location to which the owner or lessee objects as a site for possible relocation of the well, within six days after the receipt of the notice. If the chief receives no objections from the owner or lessee of the mine within ten days after the receipt of the notice by the owner or lessee, or if in the opinion of the chief the objections offered by the owner or lessee are not sufficiently well founded, the chief immediately shall notify the owner or lessee of those findings. The owner or lessee may appeal the decision of the chief to the reclamation commission under section 1513.13 of the Revised Code. The appeal shall be filed within fifteen days, notwithstanding provisions in divisions (A)(1) of section 1513.13 of the Revised Code to the contrary, from the date on which the owner or lessee receives the notice. If the appeal is not filed within that time, the chief immediately shall approve the application , retain a copy of the application and map, and return a copy of the application to the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management with the approval noted on it. The chief of the division of oil and gas resources management then shall issue the permit if the provisions of this chapter pertaining to the issuance of such a permit have been complied with.

If the chief of the division of mineral resources management receives an objection from the owner or lessee of the mine as to the location of the well within ten days after receipt of the notice by the owner or lessee, and if in the opinion of the chief the objection is well founded, the chief shall disapprove the application and immediately return it to the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management together with the reasons for disapproval and a suggestion for a new location for the well, provided that the suggested new location shall not be a location within fifty feet of the original location to which the owner or lessee has objected as a site for possible relocation of the well if the chief of the division of mineral resources management has determined that the objection is well founded. The chief of the division of oil and gas resources management immediately shall notify the applicant for the permit of the disapproval and any suggestion made by the chief of the division of mineral resources management as to a new location for the well. The applicant may withdraw the application or amend the application to drill the well at the location suggested by the chief, or the applicant may appeal the disapproval of the application by the chief to the reclamation commission.

If the chief of the division of mineral resources management receives no objection from the owner or lessee of a mine as to the location of the well, but does receive an objection from the owner or lessee as to one or more locations within fifty feet of the original location as possible sites for relocation of the well within ten days after receipt of the notice by the owner or lessee, and if in the opinion of the chief the objection is well founded, the chief nevertheless shall approve the application and shall return it immediately to the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management together with the reasons for disapproving any of the locations to which the owner or lessee objects as possible sites for the relocation of the well. The chief of the division of oil and gas resources management then shall issue a permit if the provisions of this chapter pertaining to the issuance of such a permit have been complied with, incorporating as a term or condition of the permit that the applicant is prohibited from commencing drilling at any location within fifty feet of the original location that has been disapproved by the chief of the division of mineral resources management. The applicant may appeal to the reclamation commission the terms and conditions of the permit prohibiting the commencement of drilling at any such location disapproved by the chief of the division of mineral resources management.

Any such appeal shall be filed within fifteen days, notwithstanding provisions in division (A)(1) of section 1513.13 of the Revised Code to the contrary, from the date the applicant receives notice of the disapproval of the application, any other location within fifty feet of the original location, or terms or conditions of the permit, or the owner or lessee receives notice of the chief's decision. No approval or disapproval of an application shall be delayed by the chief of the division of mineral resources management for more than fifteen days from the date of sending the notice of the application to the mine owner or lessee as required by this section.

All appeals provided for in this section shall be treated as expedited appeals. The reclamation commission shall hear any such appeal in accordance with section 1513.13 of the Revised Code and issue a decision within thirty days of the filing of the notice of appeal.

The chief of the division of oil and gas resources management shall not issue a permit to drill a new well or reopen a well that is or is to be located within three hundred feet of any opening of any mine used as a means of ingress, egress, or ventilation for persons employed in the mine, nor within one hundred feet of any building or inflammable structure connected with the mine and actually used as a part of the operating equipment of the mine, unless the chief of the division of mineral resources management determines that life or property will not be endangered by drilling and operating the well in that location.

The chief of the division of mineral resources management may suspend the drilling or reopening of a well in a coal bearing township after determining that the drilling or reopening activities present an imminent and substantial threat to public health or safety or to miners' health or safety and having been unable to contact the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management to request an order of suspension under section 1509.06 of the Revised Code. Before issuing a suspension order for that purpose, the chief of the division of mineral resources management shall notify the owner in a manner that in the chief's judgment would provide reasonable notification that the chief intends to issue a suspension order. The chief may issue such an order without prior notification if reasonable attempts to notify the owner have failed, but in that event notification shall be given as soon thereafter as practical. Within five calendar days after the issuance of the order, the chief shall provide the owner an opportunity to be heard and to present evidence that the activities do not present an imminent and substantial threat to public health or safety or to miners' health or safety. If, after considering the evidence presented by the owner, the chief determines that the activities do not present such a threat, the chief shall revoke the suspension order. An owner may appeal a suspension order issued by the chief of the division of mineral resources management under this section to the reclamation commission in accordance with section 1513.13 of the Revised Code or may appeal the order directly to the court of common pleas of the county in which the well is located.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 09-05-2001