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(A) Purpose. Regulations governing mineral extraction activities within an urban area, as defined in I.C. 36-7-4-1103, are for the purposes of permitting the economic recovery of the maximum amount of oil, gas and other hydrocarbon substances resources while protecting public health, safety and welfare from dangers and nuisances which might be created by these activities.
(B) Applicability. The regulations contained herein shall apply in all districts where oil and gas production is allowed, either as a permitted use or by conditional use permit.
(C) Activities permitted. The following are considered oil and gas production activities: oil well drilling, including the installation and use of the equipment, structures and facilities as are necessary or convenient for oil drilling and producing operations customarily required or incidental to usual oil field practice, including, but not limited to, the initial separation of oil, gas and water and for the storage, handling, recycling and transportation of the oil, gas and water to and from the premises, may be permitted, subject to all regulations of this section.
(D) Standards. The standards listed below must be met before the Board may grant a conditional use permit for oil and gas production activities. Any use that does not comply with these standards may be permitted by the Board only through the variance process of this chapter. Before deciding a conditional use under this section, the Board shall seek information relevant to the decision from agencies related to the oil and gas production operation. Any oil and gas production activities that are regulated by federal or state law must meet all regulations. The Board may impose conditions that are more restrictive than the these regulations. When the Board approves a conditional use permit for oil and gas production activities, it may require conditions or commitments to ensure that the conditional use is consistent with the spirit and intent of this chapter. The standards below apply to confinement feeding farms:
(1) Within 60 calendar days after abandonment of any well or any earthen sumps used in drilling or production, or both, the earthen sump shall be filled and the drilling site restored as nearly as practicable to its original condition.
(2) Any earthen sump located within 500 feet of any public street or of five or more occupied residences, shall be enclosed with a fence not less than five, nor more than ten, feet in height mounted on steel posts with not less than three strands of barbed wire around the top. The fence shall be constructed of woven wire fencing or equivalent of not greater than six-inch mesh.
(3) When private roads to wells or other oil field facilities are constructed, the roads shall be oiled or surfaced in a manner that they will not create a public nuisance.
(4) A permanent well hole, derrick or tank shall not be placed within 75 feet of any public road, street or highway.
(5) All drilling and producing operations shall conform to all applicable fire and safety regulations.
(6) Suitable and adequate sanitary toilet and washing facilities shall be installed and maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.
(7) All drilling and production operations shall be conducted in a manner as not to constitute a public nuisance.
(8) The operators of the drilling site shall maintain it in an orderly fashion so that it does not become unsightly.
(9) Proven technological improvements generally accepted and used in drilling and production methods shall be adopted as they may become available if the improvements are capable of reducing factors of nuisance and annoyance to surrounding properties.
(10) Adequate fire fighting apparatus and supplies shall be maintained on the site at all times during any drilling or production operation.
(11) All parking and loading shall be provided on the drilling site and in no case shall be permitted in any public right-of-way.
(12) No earthen sumps that will contaminate the surrounding or subsurface area shall be used.
(E) Requirements. If the Board issues a conditional use permit for oil and gas drilling activity, it shall require that the applicant comply with the items below, and may impose any necessary conditions on the approval.
(1) The applicant shall agree in writing to conform with any and all conditions which may be imposed by the Board prior to the start of drilling, which conditions shall be imposed for the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare.
(2) The applicant shall post a surety bond in the sum of $500 per well or $2,500 for five or more wells, in favor of the county, to ensure conformance with all conditions, restrictions and requirements herein contained.
(3) The operators of the drilling site(s) shall remove the drilling rig and other equipment not used in producing operations from each well within 30 calendar days after the drilling of the well has been completed, and thereafter, when necessary, the completed wells shall be serviced by portable rig.
(4) Upon the granting of the permit, drilling shall begin within 90 calendar days. In the event that a producing well is not secured at the conclusion of eight months, the permittee may, by written request to the Board, be granted a hearing to extend the time limitation. Upon satisfactory evidence, the Board may extend the time limit of the permit for an additional period not to exceed one year.
(Ord. 2006-13, passed 4-3-2006; Ord. 2012-9, passed 7-2-2012)