130th Ohio General Assembly
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(124th General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 425)

To amend sections 1509.23 and 1509.39 and to enact section 3704.12 of the Revised Code to generally prohibit the sale of motor vehicle fuel containing methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in certain quantities and to authorize the Department of Natural Resources to specify minimum distances for the location of oil and gas well facilities from bodies of water.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 1509.23 and 1509.39 be amended and section 3704.12 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 1509.23.  (A) Rules of the chief of the division of mineral resources management may specify practices to be followed in the drilling of wells and production of oil and gas for protection of public health or safety or to prevent damage to natural resources, including specification of the following:

(1) Appropriate devices, minimum;

(2) Minimum distances that wells and other excavations, structures, and equipment shall be located from water wells, streets, roads, highways, rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, other bodies of water, railroad tracks, and buildings, other;

(3) Other methods of operation, and procedures;

(4) Procedures, methods, and equipment and other requirements for equipment to prevent and contain discharges of oil from oil production facilities and oil drilling and workover facilities consistent with and equivalent in scope, content, and coverage to section 311(j)(1)(c) of the "Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972," 86 Stat. 886, 33 U.S.C.A. 1251, as amended, and regulations adopted under it.

(B) The chief, in consultation with the emergency response commission created in section 3750.02 of the Revised Code, shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that specify the information that shall be included in an electronic database that the chief shall create and host. The information shall be that which the chief considers to be appropriate for the purpose of responding to emergency situations that pose a threat to public health or safety or the environment. At the minimum, the information shall include that which a person who is regulated under this chapter is required to submit under the "Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986," 100 Stat. 1728, 42 U.S.C.A. 11001, and regulations adopted under it.

In addition, the rules shall specify whether and to what extent the database and the information that it contains will be made accessible to the public. The rules shall ensure that the database will be made available via the internet or a system of computer disks to the emergency response commission and to every local emergency planning committee and fire department in this state.

Sec. 1509.39.  This chapter or rules adopted under it shall not be construed to prevent any municipal corporation, county, or township from enacting and enforcing health and safety standards for the drilling and exploration for oil and gas, provided that such those standards are not less restrictive than this chapter or the rules adopted thereunder under it by the division of mineral resources management. No county or township shall adopt or enforce any ordinances, resolutions, rules, or requirements relative to the minimum acreage requirements for drilling units; minimum distances from which a new well or related production facilities may be drilled or an existing well deepened, plugged back, or reopened to a source of supply different from the existing pool from boundaries of tracts, drilling units, other wells, streets, roads, highways, railroad tracks, and any other structures or, facilities, or features included in section 1509.23 of the Revised Code; or the restoration or plugging of an oil and gas well. No county or township shall require any permit or license for the drilling, operation, production, plugging, or abandonment of any oil or gas well, nor any fee, bond, or other security, or insurance for any activity associated with the drilling, operation, production, plugging, or abandonment of a well, except for the permit provided for in section 4513.34 of the Revised Code and any bond or other security associated therewith with that permit.

Sec. 3704.12. (A) Subject to division (C) of this section, on or after July 1, 2005, no person shall sell or deliver to any distributor within this state, or import into this state for sale in this state, any motor vehicle fuel containing methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in quantities greater than one-half of one per cent by volume.

(B) The attorney general, upon the request of the director of environmental protection, shall commence an action for injunctive relief in any court of competent jurisdiction against any person violating or threatening to violate division (A) of this section. The court may grant temporary as well as permanent injunctive relief.

(C) The prohibitions of this section shall not operate unless the United States environmental protection agency grants a waiver allowing this state to control or prohibit the use of MTBE in motor vehicle fuels. The director of environmental protection shall apply for this waiver in a timely manner in order to obtain it before July 1, 2005.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 1509.23 and 1509.39 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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