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Introduced Version House Bill 4277 History

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hb4277 intr
H. B. 4277


(By Delegates Boggs, Miley, Barker and Caputo)

[By Request of the Department of Environmental

Protection]

[Introduced February 2, 2010; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]



A BILL to amend and reenact §22-6-1 and §22-6-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §22-11-3 and §22-11-8 of said code, all relating to authorizing the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection to issue National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits; defining terms; and correcting antiquated language.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §22-6-1 and §22-6-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §22-11-3 and §22-11- 8 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 6. OFFICE OF OIL AND GAS; OIL AND GAS WELLS; ADMINISTRATION; ENFORCEMENT.

§22-6-1. Definitions.

Unless the context in which used clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this article:
(a) "Casing" means a string or strings of pipe commonly placed in wells drilled for natural gas or petroleum or both;
(b) "Cement" means hydraulic cement properly mixed with water;
(c) "Chair" means the chair of the West Virginia shallow gas well review board as provided for in section four, article eight, chapter twenty-two-c of this code;
(d) "Coal operator" means any person or persons, firm, partnership, partnership association or corporation that proposes to or does operate a coal mine;
(e) "Coal seam" and "workable coal bed" are interchangeable terms and mean any seam of coal twenty inches or more in thickness, unless a seam of less thickness is being commercially worked, or can in the judgment of the department foreseeably be commercially worked and will require protection if wells are drilled through it;
(f) "Director" means the director of the Division of Environmental Protection as established in article one of this chapter or such other person to whom the director has delegated authority or duties pursuant to sections six or eight, article one of this chapter.
(f) "Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection;
(g) "Deep well" means any well other than a shallow well, drilled and completed in a formation at or below the top of the uppermost member of the "Onondaga Group;"
(h) "Expanding cement" means any cement approved by the office of oil and gas which expands during the hardening process, including, but not limited to, regular oil field cements with the proper additives;
(i) "Facility" means any facility utilized in the oil and gas industry in this state and specifically named or referred to in this article or in article eight or nine of this chapter, other than a well or well site;
(j) "Gas" means all natural gas and all other fluid hydrocarbons not defined as oil in this section;
(k) "Oil" means natural crude oil or petroleum and other hydrocarbons, regardless of gravity, which are produced at the well in liquid form by ordinary production methods and which are not the result of condensation of gas after it leaves the underground reservoirs;
(l) "Owner" when used with reference to any well, shall include any person or persons, firm, partnership, partnership association or corporation that owns, manages, operates, controls or possesses such well as principal, or as lessee or contractor, employee or agent of such principal;
(m) "Owner" when used with reference to any coal seam, shall include any person or persons who own, lease or operate such coal seam;
(n) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, firm, partnership, partnership association, venture, receiver, trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, fiduciary or other representative of any kind, and includes any government or any political subdivision or any agency thereof;
(o) "Plat" means a map, drawing or print showing the location of a well or wells as herein defined;
(p) "Review board" means the West Virginia shallow gas well review board as provided for in section four, article eight, chapter twenty-two-c of this code;
(q) "Safe mining through of a well" means the mining of coal in a workable coal bed up to a well which penetrates such workable coal bed and through such well so that the casing or plug in the well bore where the well penetrates the workable coal bed is severed;
(r) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection as established in article one of this chapter or such other person to whom the secretary has delegated authority or duties pursuant to section six or eight, article one of this chapter;
(r) (s) "Shallow well" means any gas well drilled and completed in a formation above the top of the uppermost member of the "Onondaga Group": Provided, That in drilling a shallow well the operator may penetrate into the "Onondaga Group" to a reasonable depth, not in excess of twenty feet, in order to allow for logging and completion operations, but in no event may the "Onondaga Group" formation be otherwise produced, perforated or stimulated in any manner;
(s) (t) "Stimulate" means any action taken by a well operator to increase the inherent productivity of an oil or gas well, including, but not limited to, fracturing, shooting or acidizing, but excluding cleaning out, bailing or workover operations;
(t) (u) "Waste" means: (i) Physical waste, as the term is generally understood in the oil and gas industry; (ii) the locating, drilling, equipping, operating or producing of any oil or gas well in a manner that causes, or tends to cause a substantial reduction in the quantity of oil or gas ultimately recoverable from a pool under prudent and proper operations, or that causes or tends to cause a substantial or unnecessary or excessive surface loss of oil or gas; or (iii) the drilling of more deep wells than are reasonably required to recover efficiently and economically the maximum amount of oil and gas from a pool; (iv) substantially inefficient, excessive or improper use, or the substantially unnecessary dissipation of, reservoir energy, it being understood that nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize any agency of the state to impose mandatory spacing of shallow wells except for the provisions of section eight, article nine, chapter twenty-two-c of this code and the provisions of article eight, chapter twenty-two-c of this code; (v) inefficient storing of oil or gas: Provided, That storage in accordance with a certificate of public convenience issued by the federal energy regulatory commission shall be conclusively presumed to be efficient; and (vi) other underground or surface waste in the production or storage of oil, gas or condensate, however caused. Waste does not include gas vented or released from any mine areas as defined in section two, article one, chapter twenty-two-a of this code or from adjacent coal seams which are the subject of a current permit issued under article two of chapter twenty-two-a of this code: Provided, however, That nothing in this exclusion is intended to address ownership of the gas;
(u) (v) "Well" means any shaft or hole sunk, drilled, bored or dug into the earth or into underground strata for the extraction or injection or placement of any liquid or gas, or any shaft or hole sunk or used in conjunction with such extraction or injection or placement. The term "well" does not include any shaft or hole sunk, drilled, bored or dug into the earth for the sole purpose of core drilling or pumping or extracting therefrom potable, fresh or usable water for household, domestic, industrial, agricultural or public use;
(v) (w) "Well work" means the drilling, redrilling, deepening, stimulating, pressuring by injection of any fluid, converting from one type of well to another, combining or physically changing to allow the migration of fluid from one formation to another or plugging or replugging of any well;
(w) (x) "Well operator" or "operator" means any person or persons, firm, partnership, partnership association or corporation that proposes to or does locate, drill, operate or abandon any well as herein defined;
(x) (y) "Pollutant" shall have has the same meaning as provided in subsection subdivision (17), section three, article eleven chapter twenty-two of this code of this chapter
; and
(y) (z) "Waters of this state" shall have the same meaning as the term "waters" as provided in subsection subdivision (23), section three, article eleven chapter twenty-two of this code of this chapter
.
§22-6-7. Water pollution control permits; powers and duties of the secretary; penalties.
(a) In addition to a permit for well work, the director secretary, after public notice and an opportunity for public hearings, may either issue a separate permit, general permit or a permit consolidated with the well work permit for the discharge or disposition of any pollutant or combination of pollutants into waters of this state upon condition that such the discharge or disposition meets or will meet all applicable state and federal water quality standards and effluent limitations and all other requirements of the director secretary.
(b) It shall be is unlawful for any person conducting activities which are subject to the requirements of this article, unless that person holds a water pollution control permit therefor from the
director secretary, which is in full force and effect to:
(1) Allow pollutants or the effluent therefrom, produced by or emanating from any point source, to flow into the water of this state;
(2) Make, cause or permit to be made any outlet, or substantially enlarge or add to the load of any existing outlet, for the discharge of pollutants or the effluent therefrom, into the waters of this state;
(3) Acquire, construct, install, modify or operate a disposal system or part thereof for the direct or indirect discharge or deposit of treated or untreated pollutants or the effluent therefrom, into the waters of this state, or any extension to or addition to such the disposal system;
(4) Increase in volume or concentration any pollutants in excess of the discharges or disposition specified or permitted under any existing permit;
(5) Extend, modify or add to any point source, the operation of which would cause an increase in the volume or concentration of any pollutants discharging or flowing into the waters of the state;
(6) Operate any disposal well for the injection or reinjection underground of any pollutant, including, but not limited to, liquids or gasses, or convert any well into such a disposal well or plug or abandon any such disposal well.
(c) Notwithstanding any provision of this article or articles seven, eight, nine or ten of this chapter to the contrary, the
director shall have secretary has the same powers and duties relating to inspection and enforcement as those granted under article eleven chapter twenty-two of this code of this chapter in connection with the issuance of any water pollution control permit or any person required to have such permit.
(d) Any person who violates any provision of this section, any order issued under this section or any permit issued pursuant to this section or any rule of the director secretary relating to water pollution or who willfully or negligently violates any provision of this section or any permit issued pursuant to this section or any rule or order of the director secretary relating to water pollution or who fails or refuses to apply for and obtain a permit or who intentionally misrepresents any material fact in an application, record, report, plan or other document files or required to be maintained under this section shall be is subject to the same penalties for such the violations as are provided for in sections twenty-two and twenty-four, article eleven chapter twenty-two of this code
of this chapter : Provided, That the provisions of section twenty-six, article eleven chapter twenty-two of this code of this chapter relating to exceptions to criminal liability shall also apply.
All applications for injunction filed pursuant to section twenty-two, article eleven chapter twenty-two of the code
of this chapter shall take priority on the docket of the circuit court in which pending, and shall take precedence over all other civil cases.
(e) Any water pollution control permit issued pursuant to this section or any order issued in connection with such permit for the purpose of implementing the "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System" established under the Federal Clean Water Act shall be issued by the chief of the office of water resources of the division in consultation with the chief of the office of oil and gas of the division secretary and shall be is appealable to the Environmental Quality Board pursuant to the provisions of section twenty-five, article eleven chapter twenty-two
of this chapter and section seven, article one, chapter twenty-two-b of this code.
ARTICLE 11. WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT.

§22-11-3. Definitions.

Unless the context in which used clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this article:
(1) "Activity" or "activities" means any activity or activities for which a permit is required by the provisions of section seven of this article;
(2) "Board" means the environmental quality board, provided for in article three, chapter twenty-two-b of this code;
(3) "Chief" means the chief director of the office division of water resources and waste management of the division Department of Environmental Protection;
(4) "Code" means the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended;
(5) "Director" means the director of the Division of Environmental Protection or such other person to whom the director has delegated authority or duties pursuant to sections six or eight, article one of this chapter;
(5) "Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection;
(6) "Disposal system" means a system for treating or disposing of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, or the effluent therefrom, either by surface or underground methods, and includes sewer systems, the use of subterranean spaces, treatment works, disposal wells and other systems;
(7) "Disposal well" means any well drilled or used for the injection or disposal of treated or untreated sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes into underground strata;
(8) "Division" means the Division of Environmental Protection;
(9) (8) "Effluent limitation" means any restriction established on quantities, rates and concentrations of chemical, physical, biological and other constituents which are discharged into the waters of this state;
(10) (9) "Establishment" means an industrial establishment, mill, factory, tannery, paper or pulp mill, mine, colliery, breaker or mineral processing operation, quarry, refinery, well and each and every industry or plant or works in the operation or process of which industrial wastes, sewage or other wastes are produced;
(11) (10) "Industrial user" means those industries identified in the standard industrial classification manual, United States Bureau of the Budget, 1967, as amended and supplemented, under the category "division d--manufacturing" and other classes of significant waste producers identified under regulations issued by the director or the administrator of the United States environmental protection agency;
(12) (11) "Industrial wastes" means any liquid, gaseous, solid or other waste substance, or a combination thereof, resulting from or incidental to any process of industry, manufacturing, trade or business, or from or incidental to the development, processing or recovery of any natural resources; and the admixture with such industrial wastes of sewage or other wastes, as hereinafter defined, is also "industrial waste" within the meaning of this article;
(13) (12) "Other wastes" means garbage, refuse, decayed wood, sawdust, shavings, bark and other wood debris and residues resulting from secondary processing; sand, lime, cinders, ashes, offal, night soil, silt, oil, tar, dyestuffs, acids, chemicals, heat or all other materials and substances not sewage or industrial wastes which may cause or might reasonably be expected to cause or to contribute to the pollution of any of the waters of the state;
(14) (13) "Outlet" means the terminus of a sewer system or the point of emergence of any water-carried sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, or the effluent therefrom, into any of the waters of this state, and includes a point source;
(15) (14) "Person", "persons" or "applicant" means any industrial user, public or private corporation, institution, association, firm or company organized or existing under the laws of this or any other state or country; State of West Virginia; governmental agency, including federal facilities; political subdivision; county commission; municipal corporation; industry; sanitary district; public service district; drainage district; soil conservation district; watershed improvement district; partnership; trust; estate; person or individual; group of persons or individuals acting individually or as a group; or any legal entity whatever;
(16) (15) "Point source" means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including, but not limited to, any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged;
(17) (16) "Pollutant" means industrial wastes, sewage or other wastes as defined in this section;
(18) (17) "Pollution" means the man-made or man-induced alteration of the chemical, physical, biological and radiological integrity of the waters of the state;
(19) (18) "Publicly owned treatment works" means any treatment works owned by the state or any political subdivision thereof, any municipality or any other public entity, for the treatment of pollutants;
(19) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection or such other person to whom the secretary has delegated authority or duties pursuant to section six or eight, article one of this chapter;
(20) "Sewage" means water-carried human or animal wastes from residences, buildings, industrial establishments or other places, together with such groundwater infiltration and surface waters as may be present;
(21) "Sewer system" means pipelines or conduits, pumping stations, force mains and all other constructions, facilities, devices and appliances appurtenant thereto, used for collecting or conducting sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes to a point of disposal or treatment;
(22) "Treatment works" means any plant, facility, means, system, disposal field, lagoon, pumping station, constructed drainage ditch or surface water intercepting ditch, diversion ditch above or below the surface of the ground, settling tank or pond, earthen pit, incinerator, area devoted to sanitary landfills or other works not specifically mentioned herein, installed for the purpose of treating, neutralizing, stabilizing, holding or disposing of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes or for the purpose of regulating or controlling the quality and rate of flow thereof;
(23) "Water resources", "water" or "waters" means any and all water on or beneath the surface of the ground, whether percolating, standing, diffused or flowing, wholly or partially within this state, or bordering this state and within its jurisdiction, and includes, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, natural or artificial lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, branches, brooks, ponds (except farm ponds, industrial settling basins and ponds and water treatment facilities), impounding reservoirs, springs, wells, watercourses and wetlands; and
(24) "Well" means any shaft or hole sunk, drilled, bored or dug into the earth or into underground strata for the extraction or injection or placement of any liquid or gas, or any shaft or hole sunk or used in conjunction with such extraction or injection or placement. The term "well" does not include any shaft or hole sunk, drilled, bored or dug into the earth for the sole purpose of core drilling or pumping or extracting therefrom potable, fresh or usable water for household, domestic, industrial, agricultural or public use.
§22-11-8. Prohibitions; permits required.

(a) The chief secretary may, after public notice and opportunity for public hearing, issue a permit for the discharge or disposition of any pollutant or combination of pollutants into waters of this state upon condition that such the discharge or disposition meets or will meet all applicable state and federal water quality standards and effluent limitations and all other requirements of this article and article three, chapter twenty-two-b of this code.
(b) It is unlawful for any person, unless the person holds a permit therefor from the division department, which is in full force and effect, to:
(1) Allow sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, or the effluent therefrom, produced by or emanating from any point source, to flow into the waters of this state;
(2) Make, cause or permit to be made any outlet, or substantially enlarge or add to the load of any existing outlet, for the discharge of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, or the effluent therefrom, into the waters of this state;
(3) Acquire, construct, install, modify or operate a disposal system or part thereof for the direct or indirect discharge or deposit of treated or untreated sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, or the effluent therefrom, into the waters of this state, or any extension to or addition to such the disposal system;
(4) Increase in volume or concentration any sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes in excess of the discharges or disposition specified or permitted under any existing permit;
(5) Extend, modify or add to any point source, the operation of which would cause an increase in the volume or concentration of any sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes discharging or flowing into the waters of the state;
(6) Construct, install, modify, open, reopen, operate or abandon any mine, quarry or preparation plant, or dispose of any refuse or industrial wastes or other wastes from any such the mine or quarry or preparation plant:
Provided, That the division's department's permit is only required wherever the aforementioned activities cause, may cause or might reasonably be expected to cause a discharge into or pollution of waters of the state, except that a permit is required for any preparation plant: Provided, however, That unless waived in writing by the chief secretary, every application for a permit to open, reopen or operate any mine, quarry or preparation plant or to dispose of any refuse or industrial wastes or other wastes from any such the mine or quarry or preparation plant shall contain a plan for abandonment of such the facility or operation, which plan shall comply in all respects to the requirements of this article. Such The plan of abandonment is subject to modification or amendment upon application by the permit holder to the chief secretary and approval of such the modification or amendment by the chief secretary ; or
(7) Operate any disposal well for the injection or reinjection underground of any industrial wastes, including, but not limited to, liquids or gases, or convert any well into such a disposal well or plug or abandon any such disposal well.
(c) Where a person has a number of outlets emerging into the waters of this state in close proximity to one another, such the outlets may be treated as a unit for the purposes of this section, and only one permit issued for all such the outlets.
(d) For water pollution control and national pollutant discharge elimination system permits issued for activities regulated by the office of mining and reclamation and the office of oil and gas, the chief of the office of water resources may delegate functions, procedures and activities to the respective chiefs of those offices. Permits for such activities shall be issued under the supervision of and with the signature and approval of the chief of the office of water resources who shall review and approve all procedures, effluent limits and other conditions of such permits.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection to issue National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. The bill also
defines terms and corrects antiquated language.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added
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