A. The Director shall promulgate regulations requiring licensed operators to notify, and in appropriate circumstances obtain the consent of, the Director prior to removing minerals in the proximity of any gas or oil well already drilled or in the process of being drilled.
B. Any licensed operator who plans to remove any mineral, drive any passage or entry or extend any workings in any mine closer than 500 feet to any gas or oil well already drilled or in the process of being drilled shall file with the Director a notice that mining is taking place or will take place, together with a copy of parts of the maps and plans required under § 45.1-161.292:37, which show the mine workings and projected mine workings which are within 500 feet of the well. The licensed operator shall simultaneously mail copies of such notice, maps and plans by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the well operator and the Gas and Oil Inspector. Each notice shall contain a certification made by the sender that he has complied with these requirements.
C. Subsequent to the filing of the notice, the licensed operator may proceed with mining operations in accordance with the maps and plans; however, without the prior approval of the Director, he shall not remove any material, drive any entry, or extend any workings in any mine closer than 200 feet to any gas or oil well already drilled or in the process of being drilled. Each licensed operator who files such a petition shall mail copies of the petition, maps and plans by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the well operator and the Gas and Oil Inspector no later than the day of filing. The Gas and Oil Inspector and the well operator shall have standing to object to any petition filed under this section. Such objections shall be filed within ten days following the date such petition is filed.
1990, c. 92, § 45.1-92.1; 1994, c. 28; 1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695.