§22-21-22. Notice of plugging and reclamation of well; right to take well; objection; plugging order; plugging for mine-through.

(a) Prior to the commencement of plugging operations the operator shall give thirty days' advance notice to the chief and to all coal owners and operators whose names and addresses would be required for a permit application under subdivision (2), subsection (b), section six of this article as of the date of the notice. Such notice shall set out the number and other identification of the well, a copy of the well plat, the date plugging will commence, and the manner and method of plugging.

(b) Any coal owner or operator whose coal seam is affected by such well shall have the following rights:

(1) To convert the well to a vent hole or otherwise take the well. In such event the chief, upon determination that the coal owner or operator has placed the well under a mining permit, shall release the well operator's bond and the well operator shall be relieved of further responsibility for the well; and

(2) To file comment or objection with the chief, within fifteen days after receipt of notice of intent to plug, with respect to the proposed manner or method of plugging. The chief shall consider any such comment or objection and issue an order specifying the manner and method of plugging and reclamation.

(c) Whenever any coalbed methane well is located in that portion of a coal seam which will be mined within six months, the well operator shall, within sixty days after notice from the coal owner or coal operator that the well is to be mined through, plug the well in such manner that the well can be safely mined through.