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Introduced Version Senate Bill 712 History

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sb712 intr
Senate Bill No. 712

(By Senators Fanning and Foster)

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[Introduced February 18, 2008; referred to the Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §22-21-5 and §22-21-20 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to authorizing the Coalbed Methane Review Board to propose legislative rules and to issue spacing orders.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §22-21-5 and §22-21-20 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 21. COALBED METHANE WELLS AND UNITS.

§22-21-5. Duties of the Coalbed Methane Review Board; meetings; notice, powers and duties generally.

(a) The board shall meet and hold conferences and hearings at such times and places as are designated by the chairman. The chairman may call a meeting of the board at any time. The chairman shall call a meeting of the board (1) upon receipt from the chief of a completed application for a permit to establish one or more coalbed methane gas drilling units pursuant to this article, (2) upon receipt from the chief of a request pursuant to section seven of this article or comments or objections pursuant to sections ten and eleven of this article, or (3) within twenty days upon the written request by another member of the board. Notice of all meetings shall be given to each member of the board by the chairman at least ten days in advance thereof, unless otherwise agreed by the members.
(b) At least ten days prior to every meeting of the board called pursuant to the provisions of this section, the chairman shall also notify the applicant, all persons to whom copies of the application were required to be mailed pursuant to the provisions of section nine of this article and all persons who filed written protests or objections with the board in accordance with the provisions of section ten or eleven of this article.
(c) A majority of the members of the board constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business. A majority of the members of the board is required to determine any issue brought before it.
(d) The board shall execute and carry out, administer and enforce the provisions of this article in the manner provided herein. Subject to the provisions of section three of this article, the board has jurisdiction and authority over all persons and property necessary therefor: Provided,
That the provisions of this article do not grant to the board authority or power to fix prices of coalbed methane gas.
(e) Within eighteen months of the effective date of this article, the board shall initiate rule-making proceedings to investigate the feasibility of establishing blanket bonds for financial security in addition to the provisions for bonds for financial security under section thirteen of this article.
(f) The board may:
(1) Take evidence and issue orders concerning applications for drilling permits and coalbed methane gas drilling units in accordance with the provisions of this article;
(2) Promulgate, pursuant to the provisions of chapter twenty- nine-a of this code, and enforce reasonable rules necessary to govern the practice and procedure before the board;
(3) Propose legislative rules pursuant to the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, necessary to implement the powers and duties provided the board under this article, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b), section four of this article;
(3) (4) Make such relevant investigations of records and facilities as it deems considers proper; and
(4) (5) Issue subpoenas for the attendance of and sworn testimony by witnesses and subpoenas duces tecum for the production of any books, records, maps, charts, diagrams and other pertinent documents in its own name or at the request of any party pursuant to article five, chapter twenty-nine-a.
§22-21-20. Spacing.
No coalbed methane well may be drilled closer than one hundred feet of the outermost boundary of the coalbed methane tract, leased premises, or unit from which coalbed methane is or will be produced or within one thousand six hundred linear feet of the location of an existing well or a proposed well for which a permit application is on file, unless all owners and operators of any affected workable coal seams agree in writing. Affected workable coal seams for purposes of this section shall be are those which will be penetrated or those seams more than twenty-eight inches in thickness from which production is targeted. Spacing shall otherwise be as provided in a pooling order, issued by the chief an order establishing special field rules or an any other order issued by the review board.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Coalbed Methane Review Board to propose legislative rules and issue spacing orders.

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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