Chapter 731: Oil and Gas Wells


Cross references

731.01   Objectives

The objectives of this chapter are:

  1. (a) To provide regulations which assure the safety of all residents and visitors to the Village; and

  2. (b) To assure that all areas of the Village are protected from the encroachment of well drilling, storage and other equipment and from vehicles used in the drilling of and production from such wells.
    (Ord. 2004-17. Passed 5-10-04.)

731.02   Application requirements; review and permit procedures

  1. (a) Requisites for Permit. No person, firm, association or corporation, known as the applicant, shall commence to drill, operate or change the operations of any well, except a well for potable water, within the Municipality or place any related equipment on the site for the drilling or operations of such well until the applicant has:

    1. (1) Wholly complied with all provisions of this chapter and been granted a permit by the Village;

    2. (2) Obtained a permit for drilling and waste disposal from the Division of Oil and Gas of the Department of Natural Resources;

    3. (3) Paid the application fee pursuant to subsection (b) hereof; and

    4. (4) Posted the insurance and surety bond pursuant to Section 731.06(d) and (e).

  2. (b) Application Requirements. Any person proposing to drill, complete and operate a well for oil or gas within the Village shall submit twelve copies of the written application to the Chief Administrator Officer, which is signed by the applicant or some person duly authorized, and which includes:

    1. (1) The date of such application.

    2. (2) The name and address of the applicant and if the applicant is a corporation, the state of incorporation, and if the applicant is a partnership, the names and addresses of the general partners.

    3. (3) The number of the drilling unit, the particular lot and block, number of tract in the drilling unit on which the proposed well is to be located.

    4. (4) The type of the well, whether oil or gas, and the proposed depth of the well.

    5. (5) The number of square acres in the lease or unitized lease over which the applicant has control of oil or gas rights, and which the applicant shall be required to own in fee, or hold under lease or drilling contract from the owner. Lots and lands across a public street shall be deemed as being contiguous.

    6. (6) A copy of the signed lease(s) between the property owner(s) and the applicant. Such lease(s) shall explicitly incorporate this chapter by reference and shall state, in bold letters, in the body of the lease that: “A permit issued pursuant to the Gas and Oil Well Regulations of the Village of Chagrin Falls is not transferable. Any new owner of a proposed well, or well in operation, must be issued a new permit by the Village of Chagrin Falls and the Division of Oil and Gas. Before such permit can be issued the new owner must comply with all regulations, procedures, and standards of Codified Ordinance Chapter 731 including the bonding and insurance requirements.”

    7. (7) Map, or maps, prepared by an Ohio registered surveyor showing and containing the following data:

      1. (A) The size and dimensions of the subject tract of land or drilling unit upon which the well is to be drilled, which shall show all parcels or tracts of land with dimensions, for which a lease has been obtained.

      2. (B) All existing buildings, parking areas, drives, and natural features, such as major areas of tree cover, streams, ditches or severe topography, on the parcel and on any portion of the adjacent parcel(s) which are within 500 feet of the proposed well location.

      3. (C) The location of the proposed well and the proposed location of oil storage tanks on the subject tract of land or drilling unit.

      4. (D) The location, size and slope of all drainage facilities, tiles, ditches, etc. which lie within the work limits of the proposed well and storage tank sites.

      5. (E) The location of any existing wells or storage equipment on the tract.

      6. (F) Dimensions, in feet, from the proposed well site and all storage tanks to the boundary lines of the subject tract or drilling unit and distances to all buildings and to existing wells or storage facilities.

      7. (G) The location and the specification of planned improvements for the proposed access drive and related gates, fences and entrance landscaping.

      8. (H) Proposed access routes to be used going to and from the site to State or federal highways.

    8. (8) A statement indicating the maximum loads of vehicles used during the drilling of the well and during production and the maximum load limits on the roads to be used from the site to State or federal highways.

    9. (9) The drilling and waste disposal applications submitted to the State and copies of the permits issued for these applications.

    10. (10) A plan for the restoration of the disturbed land upon completion of the drilling operations and a plan for the total restoration of the site when the well is abandoned.

    11. (11) A spill prevention plan, if applicable, as required by federal law, when drainage from the well site is into a navigable waterway.

    12. (12) The proposed complete casing program for the well.

    13. (13) An application fee of two thousand dollars ($2,000) per well which shall be refunded if the permit is denied.

  3. (c) Granting of Permits. Gas and oil wells are permitted in the Village subject to these regulations unless otherwise restricted by State and local laws and the permit shall only be granted subject to the following:

    1. (1) The proposed application shall be processed in accordance with the procedures in the Planning and Zoning Code.

    2. (2) Any permit granted by the Planning Commission shall be confirmed by Council resolution. If Council does not so confirm the approval of the Planning Commission, the permit shall be denied.

    3. (3) No local permit pursuant to this chapter shall be issued until the applicant has received a permit for the proposed well from the Division of Oil and Gas (Department of Natural Resources) pursuant to Ohio R.C. Chapter 1509 and a copy of such permit is submitted to the Chief Administrative Officer’s office.

    4. (4) If drilling has not commenced within ninety days from the date of issue, the permit may be revoked by the Chief Administrator Officer and the application fee is nonrefundable.

    5. (5) The Planning Commission shall not approve an application until the application has been reviewed by the Fire Chief and the Planning Commission has been notified in writing by the Fire Chief that, for those aspects of the application pertaining to fire safety, the application is satisfactory as submitted, or as amended by the applicant.
      (Ord. 2004-17. Passed 5-10-04.)

731.03   Development standards

  1. (a) Minimum Tract. No permit shall be issued on a tract of less than twenty acres. If a larger tract is required by the Rules and Regulations of the Division of Oil and Gas, then such larger tract shall govern. A tract may be a parcel in single ownership or a composite of land which is owned by several persons or other separate entities. If the tract has more than one owner, then a proper lease shall be executed between the applicant and all the owners of the land. A copy of this unitized lease shall accompany the application for a permit.

  2. (b) Well Location. Drilling sites, storage tanks and other equipment shall be located to conform with the following:

    1. (1) 200 feet from existing buildings on the tract, except as provided in subsection (b)(2) hereof. For nonresidential buildings, except for schools and other public places of assembly, this provision may be waived, in writing by the owner and occupant of a building nearer than 200 feet from the proposed well site or storage equipment provided that in no case shall such well or equipment be nearer than 100 feet from such building. Such written authorization shall be included with the application.

    2. (2) 300 feet from schools or other public places of assembly as defined in the Ohio Basic Building Code.

    3. (3) 300 feet from adjacent properties.

    4. (4) 200 feet from a public street provided further that storage tanks and equipment may be within 100 feet of a public street right of way.

    5. (5) Any greater distances which may be required pursuant to Ohio R.C. Chapter 1509 shall govern.

      These spacing requirements shall remain in effect until the well has been plugged to the satisfaction of the Village and the Division of Oil and Gas.

  3. (c) Access Drives.

    1. (1) Access drives from drilling sites or storage equipment to the roadway shall be located to have the minimum impact on adjacent residential properties.

    2. (2) Access drives shall have a hard surface from the roadway to a point forty feet along the access drive from the roadway. The hard surface shall be eleven feet wide and constructed by placing three inches of asphalt on a six- inch granular base; except that where the access drive enters a concrete roadway, a concrete apron shall be placed from the roadway to the end of the public right of way, whereupon the concrete apron shall meet the asphaltic hard surface. The concrete apron shall be constructed of six-sack concrete and shall be a thickness of six inches. From the end of the apron, access drives shall be constructed of gravel, plank or appropriate material as determined by the Village Engineer to assure that the surface is dust-free and adequate for the vehicles intended.

    3. (3) A gate shall be installed across the access drive at a point adjacent to the roadway. Such gate shall be locked at all times when the access road is not being used for well related purposes. Adjacent to the gate shall be sufficient barriers by fencing, landscaping or mounding to reasonably prevent unauthorized vehicle access to the well or storage sites. Sketch drawings and/or written descriptions of the proposed gates and barriers, adequate to indicate how the objective of preventing unauthorized access will be achieved, shall be submitted with the permit application.

    4. (4) Driveway culvert pipe shall be installed in accordance with Village Codes.

    5. (5) When a storage tank or well head is more than 300 feet from a street right of way, the Fire Chief may require, in addition to the access drive, an area developed and reserved for fire vehicles to turn around. When required, such turnaround shall be a minimum of thirty feet long by twelve feet wide provided further that the specific size, location and surface material shall be determined and approved by the Fire Chief. The Fire Chief shall review the application and report recommendations to the Planning Commission according to the procedures of Section 731.02(c)(5).

  4. (d) General Requirements.

    1. (1) No person engaged in drilling or operating any well shall permit gas to escape or be vented into the air unless a plan for such venting, stating the amounts of gas to be vented, the times and frequency, and precautions to be taken, is first submitted, in writing, to and approved in writing by the Fire Chief.

    2. (2) Within thirty days after any oil and/or gas well has been completed for the production of oil and/or gas, or abandoned, the permittee shall remove any drilling rig or derrick, remove the excess sludge or mud, fill all pits and excavations, level off the surface of the working area, not allow any accumulation of sludge or oil or other offensive or dangerous substances to accumulate, keep his premises in a sanitary and sightly condition, and restore any disturbed drainage facilities and leave the premises in such a condition that no pooling of surface water will result.

    3. (3) Wooden derricks or steam powered rigs shall not be permitted in connection with drilling or any work over operations.

    4. (4) Two dual-controlled, fluid operated blowout preventers with working pressures equal to the maximum anticipated wellhead pressures shall be used for all drilling or completion operations involving the use of drill pipe or tubing after the surface casing has been set. The mechanical operation of the preventers shall be checked every twenty-four hours and shall be tested with pump pressure with enough frequency to insure good working order at all times.

    5. (5) No oil, waste water, sludge water or salt water, produced or used in connection with the drilling operation or production of oil or gas wells, shall be disposed of within the Municipality and shall not be permitted to empty into any sanitary sewer, storm sewer or surface drainage, unless, in an emergency, such waste is to be used by the Village and authorized for such use by the Chief Administrative Officer. However, temporary repositories for salt water, waste or sludge water and basic sediment and water may be constructed of concrete, steel or other material and in the latter case such pits for temporary deposits shall be so constructed that no seepage shall result therefrom and that surface water resulting from water drainage or rain, cannot drain into such pit.

    6. (6) Within six months of such completion or abandonment the area shall be relandscaped to assure that all areas, other than access drives, are restored with natural ground cover consistent with surrounding areas to avoid any further erosion.

    7. (7) All producing wells, wellheads, tank batteries, pumping units and equipment appurtenant thereto shall be enclosed and protected by a six- foot galvanized or aluminum chain link-type fence with matching-type gates and effectively screened with evergreen plantings to the approval of the Chief Administrative Officer.

    8. (8) On residentially zoned land, each storage tank shall be a maximum of 100 barrels (4,500 gallons) and a maximum of two storage tanks shall be permitted for each well.

    9. (9) The premises shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition free from rubbish of every character, at all times, during the drilling operation and as long thereafter as oil and/or gas is being produced therefrom. All permittees’ premises shall be kept clear of high grass, weeds and combustible trash or any other rubbish or debris that might constitute a fire hazard within a radius of 100 feet around any oil tank or tanks, or producing wells.
      (Ord. 2004-17. Passed 5-10-04.)

731.04   Operational standards

  1. (a) On-Site.

    1. (1) Noise levels.

      1. (A) Drilling operations shall be controlled, by double exhausts, or otherwise, so that the maximum noise level of actual drilling does not exceed seventy-five decibels at a 500 foot radius from the well.

      2. (B) All pumps and equipment operated in conjunction with a producing well shall be operated with electric motors and no internal combustion engines shall be permitted.

      3. (C) All engines shall be equipped with effective mufflers of adequate size and type to match the engine used.

    2. (2) Hours of operation. Material, equipment, tools or pipe used for either drilling or producing operations at the well and all oil produced shall not be delivered to or removed from the well site except between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. of any day except in case of emergency, or unless, based on the well location, this provision is waived prior to the issuance of the permit.

    3. (3) Warning signs. Printed signs reading “DANGER, NO SMOKING ALLOWED” or similar words shall be posted in conspicuous places on each well, storage tank or battery of tanks.

    4. (4) Meters. Each well shall have individual meters recording the volume of production.

    5. (5) Lighting. No lighting shall shine directly on or constitute a nuisance to adjacent properties.

    6. (6) Well work over. Any person operating any well(s) for oil or gas within the Village may perform any well work over operations, except drilling deeper, without a permit provided the operator complies with the provisions of this chapter pertaining to such work. However, no well work over shall be performed without first informing the Chief Administrative Officer.

  2. (b) Off-Site.

    1. (1) Prior to constructing, laying, maintaining, operating, repairing, replacing or removing pipelines on any municipal street, sidewalk, alley or other property, the applicant shall apply to Council for an easement if the applicant:

      1. (A) Does not interfere with or damage existing water, sewer or gas lines or the facilities of public utilities located within the rights of way or otherwise on Municipal property;

      2. (B) Furnishes the Village Engineer with a plat showing the location of such pipelines;

      3. (C) Constructs such lines, or causes the same to be constructed, in accordance with directions of the Village Engineer and which shall be properly cased and vented if under a street; and

      4. (D) Grades, levels and restores such property to the same condition, as nearly as practicable, as existed when the installation of the pipeline first commenced.

    2. (2) No person shall permit to escape any mud, water, oil, slush or other waste matter related to the drilling or operating of any oil and/or gas well into any adjoining lots upon which the permittee does not have contractual rights to use the surface, or upon leases not owned by the permittee or into the alleys, streets, gutters or sewers of the Municipality.

    3. (3) Should any mud be carried on public streets from a drilling site, the permittee shall be required to clean up the streets to the satisfaction of the Village. Failure of a permittee to clean up the public streets to the satisfaction of the Village, or failure to take specific steps to reduce mud at a given location, as requested by the Village, shall be grounds for revocation of a permit, forfeiture of the bond posted under Section 731.06(e), and shall further be a misdemeanor punishable under Section 731.99.

    4. (4) All trucks hauling oil, sludge water, salt water, petroleum products or by-products, shall be closed and leakproof at all times and the intake vent and outlet valves and pump connections shall be watertight and leakproof.
      (Ord. 2004-17. Passed 5-10-04.)

731.05   Future development adjacent to well and storage sites

  1. (a) No buildings for human occupancy shall be constructed on a well site except in compliance with the distances from the well and storage equipment specified in Section 731.03(b).

  2. (b) After a well has been plugged to the satisfaction of the Village and the Division of Oil and Gas, the following development regulations shall apply:

    1. (1) A minimum of a 100 foot radius open area shall be preserved on all sides of the plugged well. This area shall be designated as a permanent easement in any future subdivision of land.

    2. (2) An additional easement for access, if necessary, shall be perpetually provided from a public street to the well site.

    3. (3) No building or structures shall be constructed within the easements, pursuant to subsections (b)(1) and (2) hereof, except fences, parking lots, walkways, playground equipment and other similar type equipment and landscape features.
      (Ord. 2004-17. Passed 5-10-04.)

731.06   Administration

  1. (a) Permits for On-Site Connections. Any use or activity on the well site of a gas or oil well which proposes to connect gas or oil lines directly from the wellhead shall first obtain a plumbing and heating permit from the Village. Applications shall be made to the Building Department.

  2. (b) Change of Ownership. A permit issued pursuant to this chapter is not transferable. A permit for a new owner of a proposed well, or well in operation, shall only be issued when the new owner complies with all application procedures of this chapter and the Village, according to the procedures of this chapter, determines that such new owner complies with all the regulations, standards, insurance and bonding requirements set forth herein.

  3. (c) Inspections.

    1. (1) Each well, related equipment, and well site shall be inspected by the Village every six months to assure continued compliance with this chapter. Any areas of noncompliance with this chapter which are identified during these inspections shall be transmitted, in writing, to the owner of the well.

    2. (2) After a reasonable period of time has elapsed, to enable the owner to correct the identified deficiency, the Village shall make an additional inspection (or inspections, as necessary) to assure that any areas of noncompliance have been satisfactorily corrected and that the well, related equipment, and the well site are in full compliance with this chapter. Fees for all such additional inspections shall accrue at the rate of fifty dollars ($50.00) per hour with a minimum of fifty dollars ($50.00) per inspection and the owner shall reimburse the Village for all accrued costs for such additional inspections.

  4. (d) Insurance. An applicant, before being issued a permit hereunder shall post and maintain with the Chief Administrative Officer satisfactory evidence of liability insurance and yearly renewal coverage to compensate parties other than the applicant for damages arising from the activities permitted hereunder in an amount not less than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) coverage for property loss for each occurrence and five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) coverage for bodily injury for each occurrence. The applicant shall establish such coverage to be for the benefit of the Village as well as himself/itself, and does agree by application of the permit herein to indemnify and save the Village harmless from any liability or loss arising from the activities permitted hereunder. Such insurance policy shall remain in effect one year after the Chief Administrative Officer has received written confirmation from the State Division of Oil and Gas that the well has been satisfactorily plugged in accordance with the regulations of the Division.

  5. (e) Bonding and Bond Forfeitures.

    1. (1) An applicant, before being issued a permit hereunder, shall execute and file with the Chief Administrative Officer a surety bond, conditional on compliance with the foregoing regulations, in the amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) per well up to a maximum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per operator. The applicant may deposit with the Chief Administrative Officer, in lieu of a surety bond, cash, or the equivalent of cash, in the amount of the surety bond prescribed above. The surety bond provided for in this section shall be executed by a surety company authorized to do business in Ohio. The Chief Administrative Officer shall not approve any bond until it is personally signed and acknowledged by both principal and surety, or as to either by his attorney in fact, with a certified copy of the power of attorney attached thereto. The Chief Administrative Officer shall not approve such bond unless there is attached a certificate of the Superintendent of Insurance that the company is authorized to transact a fidelity and surety business in Ohio. All bonds shall be given in a form to be prescribed by the Chief Administrative Officer and shall run to the Village as obligee.

    2. (2) When the Chief Administrative Officer finds that an applicant has failed to comply with regulations hereunder he shall make a finding of such fact and declare any surety bond, or cash, filed to ensure compliance, forfeited in an amount sufficient to correct any condition which adversely affects the public health and safety, or is a condition prescribed in Section 731.04(b)(3); whereupon the Chief Administrative Officer shall certify the forfeiture to the Director of Law who shall proceed to collect the amount thereof. In lieu of forfeiture, the surety, at its option, may cause the condition resulting in forfeiture to be corrected or pay to the Village Finance Director the costs thereof. All funds collected under this section may be expended by the Chief Administrative Officer to correct the condition necessitating forfeiture. The owner may be released from the surety bond one year after the Chief Administrative Officer has received written confirmation from the State Division of Oil and Gas that the well has been satisfactorily plugged in accordance with the regulations of the Division. Until the surety bond is released by the Chief Administrative Officer in writing, such bond shall remain in full force and effect for the benefit of the Village.
      (Ord. 2004-17. Passed 5-10-04.)

731.07   State regulations incorporated by reference

All related rules and regulations (as amended) promulgated by the Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas are hereby incorporated by reference as part of this chapter.
(Ord. 2004-17. Passed 5-10-04.)

731.08   Definitions

The following words and phrases shall have the meaning set forth herein unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

  1. (a) “Division of Oil and Gas” means the State of Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas.

  2. (b) “Well” means any borehole, whether drilled or bored, for the purpose of exploration or production of any gas or liquid mineral, excluding potable water, and includes wells for the direct production and in direct recovery or the disposal of such gas or liquid.

  3. (c) “Well work over” means the reentering of a well for any purpose after it is initially completed or abandoned. Well work over shall not include drilling or well servicing such as the installation or servicing of artificial lift equipment or the removal of tubing obstructions such as paraffin or sand.

  4. (d) “Well site” means the minimum areas for a well pursuant to Section 731.03(a).

  5. (e) “Unitized lease” means the lease arrangements between property owners and the driller which enables the driller to include more than one separately owned parcel as part of the well site and commits these parcels to comply with the regulations of this chapter and the requirements of the Division of Oil and Gas.
    (Ord. 2004-17. Passed 5-10-04.)

731.09   Variance from development standards

Any decision of the Planning Commission concerning an application for an oil or gas well permit, may be appealed by the applicant for a variance from any of the development standards, or by any interested party who disagrees with the granting of a permit as being in compliance with these development standards contained herein. In reviewing the applications for development standard variances, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall follow the requirements for granting variances in the Zoning Code of the Village of Chagrin Falls.
(Ord. 2004-17. Passed 5-10-04.)

731.99   Penalty

Whoever violates any of the foregoing regulations or orders issued pursuant to the foregoing sections, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. Each day shall constitute a separate offense.
(Ord. 2004-17. Passed 5-10-04.)