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Ohio Budget Passes With No Increase in Severance Tax, Contains Other Regulatory Changes for Oil and Gas Production

Ohio’s biennial budget was signed into law on June 30. The new budget legislation does not include an increase to the oil and gas severance tax, which would have only applied to operators of horizontal wells. The budget also includes several changes to oil and gas industry regulations. The changes include:

  • Horizontal well owners must report production on a quarterly basis rather than an annual basis;
  • Beginning on March 31, 2015, well owners must disclose the country of origin of all steel pipes used in the drilling process;
  • Only synthetically lined pits or impoundments may be used for temporary storage of brine and other fluids;
  • The owner or operator of a solid waste facility may accept material containing technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM) if the material contains less than five picocuries per gram above natural background of radium-226 or radium-228; and,
  • After January 1, 2014, the storage, recycling, treatment, processing or disposal of brine or other waste substances must be in accordance with a permit issued by the chief of ODNR.

Several other changes oil and gas industry regulations were signed into law in addition to those summarized above.