Virginias Gas and Oil Act of 1990, and the regulation authorized by that act, provides a comprehensive program to protect public safety and the environment from potential impacts associated with gas and oil exploration and development. The law and regulation govern activities from prior to the initial disturbance of land for site preparation until after a well is plugged and reclaimed. The installation and operation of gathering pipelines are also governed by the law and regulation. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energys (DMME) Division of Gas and Oil (DGO) is responsible for administering the law and regulation.
The law and regulation require an operating permit and place special emphasis on water quality protection, erosion and sediment control, and protection of the public from safety hazards. The requirements are designed to prevent off site disturbances from gas and oil operations.