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Ohio Adopts Horizontal Well Site Construction Rules

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has adopted rules requiring the approval of plans for horizontal well sites prior to the construction or material modification of the sites.  The rules, codified at OAC 1501:9-2-01, 1501:9-2-02, and 1501:9-12-01, became effective on July 16, 2015.

The rules require the electronic submission of an application for approval of the well site (consisting of the well pad, access roads, areas altered to install ponds and other water control components, storage facilities, and other areas altered for drilling and production operations), and provide that construction or material modification of the site may not commence without first obtaining a permit from the Chief of the Division.  The rules prescribe the information to be provided in the application, including detailed drawings of all features within the well site boundary prepared and certified by a professional engineer, a sediment and erosion control plan, a dust control plan, a geotechnical report, and a stormwater hydraulic report.

The applicant and a representative of the Chief must meet at the site within 15 days of notification by the Chief that the application is complete.  The applicant must submit certification by a professional engineer after completion of the well site that the site has been constructed in conformity with the approved application.  The text of the rules, a discussion of the rules’ contents, and forms prescribed by the Chief are available on the Division’s website.