§ 78a.52. Predrilling or prealteration survey.
(a) A well operator who wishes to preserve its defense under section 3218(d)(2)(i) of the act (relating to protection of water supplies) that the pollution of a water supply existed prior to the drilling or alteration of the well shall conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey in accordance with this section. For the purposes of this section, survey means all of the predrilling or prealteration water supply samples associated with a single well.
(b) A person who wishes to document the quality of a water supply to support a future claim that the drilling or alteration of the well affected the water supply by pollution may conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey in accordance with this section.
(c) The survey shall be conducted by an independent Pennsylvania-accredited laboratory. A person independent of the well owner or well operator, other than an employee of the accredited laboratory, may collect the sample and document the condition of the water supply, if the accredited laboratory affirms that the sampling and documentation is performed in accordance with the laboratorys approved sample collection, preservation and handling procedure and chain of custody.
(d) An operator electing to preserve its defenses under section 3218(d)(2)(i) of the act shall provide a report containing a copy of all the sample results taken as part of the survey electronically to the Department on forms provided through its web site 10 business days prior to the start of drilling of the well that is the subject of the survey. The operator shall provide a copy of any sample results to the landowner or water purveyor within 10 business days of receipt of the sample results. Survey results not received by the Department within 10 business days may not be used to preserve the operators defenses under section 3218(d)(2)(i) of the act.
(e) The report describing the results of the survey must contain the following information:
(1) The location of the water supply and the name of the surface landowner or water purveyor.
(2) The date of the survey, and the name of the independent Pennsylvania-accredited laboratory and the person who conducted the survey.
(3) A description of where and how the samples were collected.
(4) A description of the type and age, if known, of the water supply, and treatment, if any.
(5) The name of the well operator, name and number of well to be drilled and permit number if known.
(6) The results of the laboratory analysis.
(f) A well operator who wishes to preserve the defense under section 3218(d)(2)(ii) of the act that the landowner or water purveyor refused the operator access to conduct a survey shall confirm the desire to conduct this survey and that access was refused by issuing notice to the person by certified mail, or otherwise document that access was refused. The notice must include the following:
(1) The operators intention to drill or alter a well.
(2) The desire to conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey.
(3) The name of the person who requested and was refused access to conduct the survey and the date of the request and refusal.
(4) The name and address of the well operator and the address of the Department, to which the water purveyor or landowner may respond.
(g) The operator of an unconventional well shall provide written notice to the landowner or water purveyor indicating that the presumption established under section 3218(c) of the act may be void if the landowner or water purveyor refused to allow the operator access to conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey. Proof of written notice to the landowner or water purveyor shall be provided to the Department for the operator to retain the protections under section 3218(d)(2)(ii) of the act. Proof of written notice will be presumed if provided in accordance with section 3212(a) of the act (relating to permit objections).
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