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Babst Calland: Ohio Adopts Oil And Gas Regulatory Changes In Its Biennial Budget Legislation

By David E. Northrop

Ohio’s biennial budget legislation, House Bill 64, signed by the Governor on June 30, 2015, includes changes and additions to Ohio’s oil and gas regulatory program appearing in Chapter 1509 of the Revised Code.  The changes and additions take effect on September 29, 2015.  The more significant enactments are the following:

  • A new section requiring the Chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management to create a program for the electronic submission of EPCRA reports to the Chief; state and local agencies required by EPCRA to receive the reports will have access to that database (Section 1509.231);
  • A new section requiring the reporting of fires and explosions and certain releases of oil, gas, brine, or other substances to the Chief by telephone within thirty minutes of the event, unless such reporting is “impractical” (Section 1509.232);
  • New language authorizing the Chief to include land owned by the Ohio Department of Transportation in drilling units approved by the Chief under Section 1509.28;
  • An increase in the maximum civil penalty that may be imposed for certain regulatory violations from $4000 per day of violation to $10,000 per day of violation (Section 1509.33(A)); and,
  • A significant expansion in the scope of regulatory violations for which the violator is liable to persons affected by the violation for the payment of damages and “the actual cost of rectifying the violation and conditions caused by the violation” (Section 1509.33(G)).

Copyright 2015 • Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir, P.C. • Two Gateway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 • 412-394-5400 • Administrative Watch is privately distributed by Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir, P.C., for the general information of its clients, friends and readers. It is not designed to be, nor should it be considered or used as, the sole source of analyzing and resolving legal problems. If you have, or think you may have, a legal problem or issue relating to any of the matters discussed in the Administrative Watch, consult legal counsel.

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