When a proposed shallow well drilling site is above a seam or seams of coal, then the owner of any such coal seam may, within fifteen days from the receipt by the director of the plat and notice required by section twelve of this article, file objections in writing (forms for which will be furnished by the director on request) to such proposed drilling with the director, setting out therein as definitely as is reasonably possible the ground or grounds on which such objections are based.
If any such objection is filed, or if any objection is made by the director, the director shall forthwith mail, by registered or certified mail, to the chair of the review board, a notice that an objection to the proposed drilling or deepening of a shallow well has been filed with or made by the director, and shall enclose in such notice a copy of all objections and of the application and plat filed with the director in accordance with the provisions of section twelve of this article.
Thereafter, no further action shall be taken on such application by the director until an order is received from the review board directing the director to:
(a) Refuse a drilling permit; or
(b) Issue a drilling permit for the proposed drilling location; or
(c) Issue a drilling permit for an alternate drilling location different from that requested by the well operator; or
(d) Issue a drilling permit either for the proposed drilling location or for an alternate drilling location different from that requested by the well operator, but not allow the drilling of the well for a period of not more than one year from the date of issuance of such permit.
Upon receipt of such board order, the director shall promptly undertake the action directed by the review board, except that the director shall not issue a drilling permit unless all other provisions of this article (except section fifteen) pertaining to the application for and approval of a drilling permit have been complied with. All permits issued by the director pursuant to this section shall be effective ten days after issuance unless the review board orders the director to stay the effectiveness of a permit for a period not to exceed thirty days from the date of issuance.
If a permit is issued, the director shall indicate the approved drilling location on the plat filed with the director in accordance with the provisions of section twelve of this article and shall number and keep an index of and docket each plat and notice mailed to the director as provided in section twelve of this article, and each notice mailed to the director as provided in section thirteen of this article, entering in such docket the name of the well operator, and the names and addresses of all persons notified, the dates of conferences, hearings and all other actions taken by the director and the review board. The director shall also prepare a record of the proceedings, which record shall include all applications, plats and other documents filed with the director, all notices given and proof of service thereof, all orders issued, all permits issued and a transcript of the hearing. The record prepared by the director shall be open to inspection by the public.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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