Table of Contents

From Virginia’s Legislative Information System:

Energy Policy of the Commonwealth

  • § 67-100   Legislative findings
  • § 67-101   Energy objectives (“The Commonwealth recognizes each of the following objectives pertaining to energy issues will advance the health, welfare, and safety of the residents of the Commonwealth”. There are 14 objectives noted. Many of these are directly related to hydraulic fracturing.)
  • § 67-102   Commonwealth Energy Policy (This document provides guidance on how to achieve the objectives in § 67-101 noted above. Again, many of these are directly related to hydraulic fracturing.
  • § 67-103   Role of local governments in achieving objectives of the Commonwealth Energy Policy (This document addresses only wind and solar sources of energy.)

Report Document No. 177: Publication Year 2016: “Report of the State Water Commission – 2016”

  • Executive Summary: The State Water Commission (the Commission) is a 15-member legislative body established by statute that is charged with (i) studying all aspects of water supply and allocation problems in the Commonwealth, (ii) coordinating the legislative recommendations of all state entities that have responsibilities with respect to water supply and allocation issues, and (iii) annually reporting its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor. In 2015, the Commission met twice and devoted its time to receiving testimony regarding (a) strategies for managing groundwater in Eastern Virginia, (b) the status of the state water resources plan, (c) the proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing, and (d) local and regional approaches to ensuring the availability of future water supplies.


2014 Session: HB915 State-owned uplands; hydraulic fracturing:


2014 Session: SB 48 Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area; prohibition on oil and gas drilling.

Drilling in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area. Allows the drilling for oil and gas in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area if certain Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) standards for the protection of groundwater and surface water are met. The Department of Mining, Minerals and Energy (DMME) is not authorized to issue a permit to drill in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area until DEQ has completed its review of (i) the current surface water and groundwater quality and quantity regulations in the management area and (ii) any amendments to the regulation that are necessary to protect groundwater and surface water. The DEQ review is to be completed by December 1, 2014. The State Water Control Board, as the policy board, is required to use its best efforts to adopt any changes in the regulations by July 1, 2016. The DEQ is also charged with reviewing any criteria and procedures for preparation and evaluation of the environmental impact assessments that the permit applicant is required to submit to DMME. The bill requires the assessment to include the impact of drilling, production, and transportation on surface and groundwater quality and supply. The DEQ shall use its best efforts to review and incorporate any changes to the assessment by October 1, 2015.


Last Action: 02/27/14  House: Tabled in Commerce and Labor by voice vote

§ 62.1-195.1. Chesapeake Bay; drilling for oil or gas prohibited. – click here

  • Notice of Intent to Sue for Violation of Nondiscretionary Duties under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act with respect to Wastes Associated with the Exploration, Development, or Production of Oil and Gas – rcra-og-waste-notice-letter-final-2

Virginia Administrative Code

Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources: Agency 25. Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy Chapter 150 Gas and Oil Regulation – vac-t4-a25-c150-gas-oil-regulation

  • Hydraulic fracturing and/or horizontal drilling are not listed in the definitions section. There are some definitions that could be considered applicable:
    • “Inclination survey” means a survey taken inside a wellbore that measures the degree of deviation of the point of the survey from true vertical.
    • Produced waters” means water or fluids produced from a gas well, oil well, coalbed methane gas well or gob well as a byproduct of producing gas, oil or coalbed methane gas.
  • In 4VAC25-150-340. Drilling Fluids:
    • A. Operations plan requirements. Applicants for a permit shall provide, prior to commencing drilling, documentation that the water meets the requirements of subsection B of this section, and a general description of the additives and muds to be used in all stages of drilling. Providing that the requirement in 4VAC25-150-340 C is met, variations necessary because of field conditions may be made with prior approval of the director and shall be documented in the driller’s log.
    • C. Drilling muds. No permittee may use an oil-based drilling fluid or other fluid which has the potential to cause acute or chronic adverse health effects on living organisms unless a variance has been approved by the director. Permittees must explain the need to use such materials and provide the material data safety sheets. In reviewing the request for the variance, the director shall consider the concentration of the material, the measures to be taken to control the risks, and the need to use the material. Permittees shall also identify what actions will be taken to ensure use of the additives will not cause a lessening of groundwater quality. (*NOTE: in definitions of this chapter, “Mud” means a mixture of materials that creates a weighted fluid to be circulated downhole during drilling operations for the purpose of lubricating and cooling the bit, removing cuttings, and controlling formation pressures and fluid.
    • Throughout the document, whenever water quality is mentioned and/or testing required, there are no standards that specifically address those chemicals which have become common in the process of hydraulic fracturing.


Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources: Agency 25. Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy; Chapter 160 Gas and Oil Board Regulation – vac-t4-a25-c160-gas-oil-board-regulation

  • A discussion of the role and function of the Gas and Oil Board.
  • Again no mention of fracturing.


Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources: Agency 25. Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy; Chapter 170 Geothermal Energy Regulations – vac-t4-a25-c170-geothermal-energy-regulations  

  • Specific to Geothermal Energy.

From DMME website page of Laws and Regulations:

Public Participation Guidelines

Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Public Participation Guidelines (PDF)
Virginia Administrative Code – Title 4 – Agency 25 – Chapter 11

  • Pertains to open government concerning DMME
  • Part I. Purpose and Definitions

    The purpose of this chapter is to promote public involvement in the development, amendment or repeal of the regulations of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. This chapter does not apply to regulations, guidelines, or other documents exempted or excluded from the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

Public participation in permit processing (PDF)

Virginia Administrative Code – Title 4 – Agency 25 – Chapter 130 – section 773.13

Citizens’ requests for inspections(PDF)

Virginia Administrative Code – Title 4 – Agency 25 – Chapter 130 – section 842.12

Requirements to release performance bonds(PDF)

Virginia Administrative Code – Title 4 – Agency 25 – Chapter 130 – section 800.40

Gas and Oil Extraction Regulations:

Virginia Gas and Oil Regulations(PDF)

Virginia Administrative Code – Title 4 – Agency 25 – Chapter 150

Virginia Gas and Oil Board Regulations (PDF)

Virginia Administrative Code – Title 4 – Agency 25 – Chapter 160

Geothermal Energy Regulations (PDF)

Virginia Administrative Code – Title 4 – Agency 25 – Chapter 170

DMME List of Active Companies – dmme-active-companies  

Proposed Regulations from DMME – gas-oil-regulations-short

From Virginia Register of Regulations Vol. 32 Iss.3 Oct. 5, 2015 (gas-oil-regulations -full version)