§ 45.1-361.23

Appeals of the Director’s decisions; notices; hearings and orders

A. With the exception of an aggrieved permit applicant, no person shall have standing to appeal a decision of the Director to the Board concerning a new permit application unless such person has previously filed an objection with the Director pursuant to the provisions of § 45.1-361.35.

B. When a person applies for a hearing to appeal a decision of the Director to the Board, the Board shall, at least twenty days prior to the hearing, give notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person making the appeal and, if different, to the gas or operator subject to the appeal.

C. Upon submittal of the petition for appeal of a decision of the Director to the Board, the Director shall forward to the Board (i) the permit application or order and associated documents, (ii) all required notices, and (iii) the written objections, proposals and claims recorded during the informal fact finding hearing.

D. In any appeal involving a permit of a new well which was objected to pursuant to the provisions of § 45.1-361.11, § 45.1-361.12, or by a gas storage field operator who asserts that the proposed well work will adversely affect the operation of a State Corporation Commission certificated gas storage field, the filing of a petition for appeal shall stay any permit until the case is decided by the Board or the stay is dissolved by a court of record. However, in an appeal by a gas storage field operator, such automatic stay shall not apply to oil, gas or coalbed methane wells completed more than one hundred feet above the cap rock above the storage stratum. In all other appeals, the Director may order the permit or other decision stayed for good cause shown until the case is decided by the Board or the stay is dissolved by a court of record. An appeal based on an alleged risk of danger to any person not engaged in the oil and gas operations shall be prima facie proof of good cause for a stay.

E. The Board shall conduct all hearings under this section in accordance with the formal litigated issues hearing provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4020 et seq.). However, all persons to whom notice is required to be given pursuant to subsection B of this section shall have standing to be heard at the hearing. The Board shall render its decision on such appeals within thirty days of the hearing’s closing date and shall provide notification of its decision to all parties pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

History

1990, c. 92; 1997, c. 759.

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