Section 1509.02 | Division of oil and gas resources management; chief; oil and gas well fund.
There is hereby created in the department of natural resources the division of oil and gas resources management, which shall be administered by the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management. The division has sole and exclusive authority to regulate the permitting, location, and spacing of oil and gas wells and production operations within the state, excepting only those activities regulated under federal laws for which oversight has been delegated to the environmental protection agency and activities regulated under sections 6111.02 to 6111.028 of the Revised Code. The regulation of oil and gas activities is a matter of general statewide interest that requires uniform statewide regulation, and this chapter and rules adopted under it constitute a comprehensive plan with respect to all aspects of the locating, drilling, well stimulation, completing, and operating of oil and gas wells within this state, including site construction and restoration, permitting related to those activities, and the disposal of wastes from those wells. In order to assist the division in the furtherance of its sole and exclusive authority as established in this section, the chief may enter into cooperative agreements with other state agencies for advice and consultation, including visitations at the surface location of a well on behalf of the division. Such cooperative agreements do not confer on other state agencies any authority to administer or enforce this chapter and rules adopted under it. In addition, such cooperative agreements shall not be construed to dilute or diminish the division's sole and exclusive authority as established in this section. Nothing in this section affects the authority granted to the director of transportation and local authorities in section 723.01 or 4513.34 of the Revised Code, provided that the authority granted under those sections shall not be exercised in a manner that discriminates against, unfairly impedes, or obstructs oil and gas activities and operations regulated under this chapter.
The chief shall not hold any other public office, nor shall the chief be engaged in any occupation or business that might interfere with or be inconsistent with the duties as chief.
Money collected by the chief pursuant to sections 1509.06, 1509.061, 1509.062, 1509.071, 1509.13, 1509.22, 1509.222, 1509.28, 1509.34, 1509.50, and 5749.02 of the Revised Code, all civil penalties paid under section 1509.33 of the Revised Code, and, notwithstanding any section of the Revised Code relating to the distribution or crediting of fines for violations of the Revised Code, all fines imposed under divisions (A) and (B) of section 1509.99 of the Revised Code and fines imposed under divisions (C) and (D) of section 1509.99 of the Revised Code for all violations prosecuted by the attorney general and for violations prosecuted by prosecuting attorneys that do not involve the transportation of brine by vehicle shall be deposited into the state treasury to the credit of the oil and gas well fund, which is hereby created. Fines imposed under divisions (C) and (D) of section 1509.99 of the Revised Code for violations prosecuted by prosecuting attorneys that involve the transportation of brine by vehicle and penalties associated with a compliance agreement entered into pursuant to this chapter shall be paid to the county treasury of the county where the violation occurred.
The fund shall be used solely and exclusively for the purposes enumerated in division (B) of section 1509.071 of the Revised Code, for the expenses of the division associated with the administration of this chapter and Chapter 1571. of the Revised Code and rules adopted under them, and for expenses that are critical and necessary for the protection of human health and safety and the environment related to oil and gas production in this state. The expenses of the division in excess of the moneys available in the fund shall be paid from general revenue fund appropriations to the department.