Chapter 20. Interstate Mining Compact.


§ 45.1-271. Interstate Mining Compact.


  1. The party States find that:
    1. Mining and the contributions thereof to the economy and well-being of every State are of basic significance.
    2. The effects of mining on the availability of land, water and other resources for other uses present special problems which properly can be approached only with due consideration for the rights and interests of those engaged in mining, those using or proposing to use these resources for other purposes, and the public.
    3. Measures for the reduction of the adverse effects of mining on land, water and other resources may be costly and the devising of means to deal with them are of both public and private concern.
    4. Such variables as soil structure and composition, physiography, climatic conditions, and the needs of the public make impracticable the application to all mining areas of a single standard for the conservation, adaptation, or restoration of mined land, or the development of mineral and other natural resources, but justifiable requirements of law and practice relating to the effects of mining on land, water, and other resources may be reduced in equity or effectiveness unless they pertain similarly from State to State for all mining operation similarly situated.
    5. The States are in a position and have the responsibility to assure that mining shall be conducted in accordance with sound conservation principles, and with due regard for local conditions.
  2. The purposes of this compact are to:

    1. Advance the protection and restoration of land, water and other resources affected by mining.

    2. Assist in the reduction or elimination or counteracting of pollution or deterioration of land, water and air attributable to mining.

    3. Encourage, with due recognition of relevant regional, physical, and other differences, programs in each of the party States which will achieve comparable results in protecting, conserving, and improving the usefulness of natural resources, to the end that the most desirable conduct of mining and related operations may be universally facilitated.

    4. Assist the party States in their efforts to facilitate the use of land and other resources affected by mining, so that such use may be consistent with sound land use, public health, and public safety, and to this end to study and recommend, wherever desirable, techniques for the improvement, restoration or protection of such land and other resources.

    5. Assist in achieving and maintaining an efficient and productive mining industry and in increasing economic and other benefits attributable to mining.



As used in this compact, the term:

  1. "Mining" means the breaking of the surface soil in order to facilitate or accomplish the extraction or removal of minerals, ores, or other solid matter, any activity or process constituting all or part of a process for the extraction or removal of minerals, ores, and other solid matter from its original location, and the preparation, washing, cleaning, or other treatment of minerals, ores, or other solid matter so as to make them suitable for commercial, industrial, or construction use; but shall not include those aspects of deep mining not having significant effect on the surface, and shall not include excavation or grading when conducted solely in aid of on site farming or construction.
  2. "State" means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a Territory or Possession of the United States.



Each party State agrees that within a reasonable time it will formulate and establish an effective program for the conservation and use of mined land, by the establishment of standards, enactment of laws, or the continuing of the same in force, to accomplish:

  1. The protection of the public and the protection of adjoining and other landowners from damage to their lands and the structures and other property thereon resulting from the conduct of mining operations or the abandonment or neglect of land and property formerly used in the conduct of such operations.
  2. The conduct of mining and the handling of refuse and other mining wastes in ways that will reduce adverse effects on the economic, residential, recreational or aesthetic value and utility of land and water.
  3. The institution and maintenance of suitable programs of adaptation, restoration, and rehabilitation of mined lands.
  4. The prevention, abatement and control of water, air and soil pollution resulting from mining, present, past and future.



In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Interstate Mining Commission, established by Article V of this compact, such Commission shall have power to:

  1. Study mining operations, processes and techniques for the purpose of gaining knowledge concerning the effects of such operation, processes and techniques on land, soil, water, air, plant and animal life, recreation, and patterns of community or regional development or change.
  2. Study the conservation, adaptation, improvement and restoration of land and related resources affected by mining.
  3. Make recommendations concerning any aspect or aspects of law or practice and governmental administration dealing with matters within the purview of this compact.
  4. Gather and disseminate information relating to any of the matters within the purview of this compact.
  5. Cooperate with the federal government and any public or private entities having interest in any subject coming within the purview of this compact.
  6. Consult, upon the request of a party State and within resources available therefore, with the officials of such State in respect to any problem within the purview of this compact.
  7. Study and make recommendations with respect to any practice, process, technique, or course of action that may improve the efficiency of mining or the economic yield from mining operations.
  8. Study and make recommendations relating to the safeguarding of access to resources which are or may become the subject of mining operations to the end that the needs of the economy for the products of mining may not be adversely affected by unplanned or inappropriate use of land and other resources containing minerals or otherwise connected with actual or potential mining sites.



  1. There is hereby created an agency of the party States to be known as the "Interstate Mining Commission," hereinafter called "the Commission." The Commission shall be composed of one commissioner from each party State who shall be the Governor thereof. Pursuant to the laws of his party State, each Governor shall have the assistance of any advisory body (including membership from mining industries, conservation interests, and such other public and private interests as may be appropriate) in considering problems relating to mining and in discharging his responsibilities as the commissioner of his State on the Commission. In any instance where a Governor is unable to attend a meeting of the Commission or perform any other function in connection with the business of the business of the Commission, he shall designate an alternate, from among the members of the advisory body required by this paragraph, who shall represent him and act in his place and stead. The designation of an alternate shall be communicated by the Governor to the Commission in such manner as its bylaws may provide.
  2. The commissioners shall be entitled to one vote each on the Commission. No action of the Commission making a recommendation pursuant to Article IV-3, IV-7, and IV-8 or requesting, accepting or disposing of funds, services, or other property pursuant to this paragraph, Article V (g), V (h), or VII shall be valid unless taken at a meeting at which a majority of the total number of votes on the Commission is cast in favor thereof. All other action shall be by a majority of those present and voting: provided that action of the Commission shall be only at a meeting at which a majority of the commissioners, or their alternates, is present. The Commission may establish and maintain such facilities as may be necessary for the transacting of its business. The Commission may acquire, hold, and convey real and personal property and any interest therein.
  3. The Commission shall have a seal.
  4. The Commission shall elect annually, from among its members, a chairman, a vice-chairman, and a treasurer. The Commission shall appoint an Executive Director and fix his duties and compensation. Such Executive Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission. The Executive Director, the Treasurer, and such other personnel as the Commission shall designate shall be bonded. The amount or amounts of such bond or bonds shall be determined by the Commission.
  5. Irrespective of the civil service, personnel or other merit system laws of any of the party States, the Executive Director with the approval of the Commission, shall appoint, remove or discharge such personnel as may be necessary for the performance of the Commission's functions, and shall fix the duties and compensation of such personnel.
  6. The Commission may establish and maintain independently or in conjunction with a party State, a suitable retirement system for its employees. Employees of the Commission shall be eligible for social security coverage in respect of old age and survivor's insurance provided that the Commission takes such steps as may be necessary pursuant to the laws of the United States, to participate in such program of insurance as a governmental agency or unit. The Commission may establish and maintain or participate in such additional programs of employee benefits as it may deem appropriate.
  7. The Commission may borrow, accept or contract for the services of personnel from any State, the United States, or any other governmental agency, or from any person, firm, association or corporation.
  8. The Commission may accept for any of its purposes and functions under this compact any and all donations, and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and service, conditional or otherwise, from any State, the United States, or any other governmental agency, or from any person, firm, association or corporation, and may receive, utilize and dispose of the same. Any donation or grant accepted by the Commission pursuant to this paragraph or services borrowed pursuant to paragraph (g) of this Article shall be reported in the annual report of the Commission. Such report shall include the nature, amount and conditions, if any, of the donation, grant or services borrowed and the identity of the donor or lender.
  9. The Commission shall adopt bylaws for the conduct of its business and shall have the power to amend and rescind these bylaws. The Commission shall publish its bylaws in convenient form and shall file a copy thereof and a copy of any amendment thereto, with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the party States.
  10. The Commission annually shall make to the Governor, legislature and advisory body required by Article V (a) of each party State a report covering the activities of the Commission for the preceding year, and embodying such recommendations as may have been made by the Commission. The Commission may make such additional reports as it may deem desirable.



The Commission shall establish such advisory, technical, and regional committees as it may deem necessary, membership on which shall include private persons and public officials, and shall cooperate with and use the services of any such committees and the organizations which the members represent in furthering any of its activities. Such committees may be formed to consider problems of special interest to any party States, problems dealing with particular commodities or types of mining operations, problems related to reclamation, development, or use of mined land, or any other matters of concern to the Commission.



  1. The Commission shall submit to the Governor or designated officer or officers of each party State a budget of its estimated expenditures for such period as may be required by the laws of that party State for presentation to the legislature thereof.
  2. Each of the Commission's budgets of estimated expenditures shall contain specific recommendations of the amount or amounts to be appropriated by each of the party States. The total amount of appropriations requested under any such budget shall be apportioned among the party States as follows: one-half in equal shares, and the remainder in proportion to the value of minerals, ores, and other solid matter mined. In determining such values, the Commission shall employ such available public source or sources of information as, in its judgment, present the most equitable and accurate comparisons among the party States. Each of the Commission's budgets of estimated expenditures and requests for appropriations shall indicate the source or sources used in obtaining information concerning value of minerals, ores, and other solid matter mined.
  3. The Commission shall not pledge the credit of any party State. The Commission may meet any of its obligations in whole or in part with funds available to it under Article V (h) of this compact; provided that the Commission takes specific action setting aside such funds prior to incurring any obligation to be met in whole or in part in such manner. Except where the Commission makes use of funds available to it under Article V (h) hereof, the Commission shall not incur any obligation prior to the allotment of funds by the party States adequate to meet the same.
  4. The Commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the Commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. All receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the Commission shall be audited yearly by a qualified public accountant and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the Commission.
  5. The accounts of the Commission shall be open at any reasonable time for inspection by duly constituted officers of the party States and by any persons authorized by the Commission.
  6. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prevent Commission compliance with laws relating to audit or inspection of accounts by or on behalf of any government contributing to the support of the Commission.



  1. This compact shall enter into force when enacted into law by any four or more States. Thereafter, this compact shall become effective as to any other State upon its enactment thereof.
  2. Any party State may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the same, but no such withdrawal shall take effect until one year after the Governor of the withdrawing State has given notice in writing of the withdrawal to the Governors of all other party States. No withdrawal shall affect any liability already incurred by or chargeable to a party State prior to the time of such withdrawal.



Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit, repeal or supersede any other law of any party State.



This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any State or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any State participating herein, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining party States and in full force and effect as to the State affected as to all severable matters.

(1977, c. 468.)

The number of this section was assigned by the Virginia Code Commission, the 1977 act having assigned no number.

Compact cross references. - As to provisions of other member states, see:

Illinois: 45 ILCS 50/1 - 50/1.10, 50/2 - 50/4.

Indiana: Burns Ind. Code Ann. §§ 14-35-4-1 - 14-35-4-3.

Kentucky: KRS § 350.300.

Louisiana: La. R.S. 30:951 - 30-955.

Maryland: Md. Environment Code Ann. §§ 15-901, 15-902.

Missouri: §§ 444.400 - 444.420 R.S.Mo.

New York: NY CLS ECL § 23-2722.

North Carolina: N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 74-37, 74-38.

North Dakota: N.D. Cent. Code, § 38-20-01.

Ohio: ORC Ann. 1514.30.

Oklahoma: 45 Okl. St. §§ 851 - 853.

Pennsylvania: 52 P.S. §§ 3251 - 3257.

South Carolina: S.C. Code Ann. §§ 48-21-10 - 48-21-30.

Tennessee: Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 59-10-101 - 59-10-104.

Texas: Tex. Nat. Res. Code §§ 132.001 - 132.0082.

Wyoming: Wyo. Stat. §§ 30-4-101, 30-4-102.

Editor's note. - Acts 1977, c. 468 authorized the Governor to execute the Interstate Mining Compact so that the Commonwealth of Virginia could become a signatory to the Compact. The Compact became effective in the Commonwealth on July 29, 1977.

Article V, part (a), of the Interstate Mining Compact Bylaws provides:

"The Governor of each Compacting State shall deposit with the Executive Director of the Commission a letter designating an alternate to whom notices of all meetings shall be given and to whom official communications shall be transmitted."

For Virginia, the Governor's designated alternate is the head of the Division of Mined Land Reclamation of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

The complete text of the bylaws of the Compact may be found in the offices of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (Richmond) or the Division of Mined Land Reclamation (Big Stone Gap).

Research References. - Maxfield, Houghton, and Allen, Taxation of Mining Operations (Matthew Bender).

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, American Law of Mining (Matthew Bender).

51 Tex Jur Mines and Minerals.

Chapter 24. Interstate Compact to Conserve Oil and Gas.


§ 45.1-381. Governor authorized to execute compact.

The Governor of the Commonwealth is hereby authorized and requested to execute, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia with any other state or states legally joining therein, a compact which shall be in form substantially as follows:

An Interstate Compact to Conserve Oil and Gas

Article I.

This agreement may become effective within any compacting state at any time as prescribed by that state, and shall become effective within those states ratifying it whenever any three of the States of Texas, Oklahoma, California, Kansas, and New Mexico have ratified and Congress has given its consent. Any oil-producing state may become a party hereto as hereinafter provided.

Article II.

The purpose of this compact is to conserve oil and gas by the prevention of physical waste thereof from any cause.

Article III.

Each state bound hereby agrees that within a reasonable time it will enact laws, or if the laws have been enacted, to continue the same in force, to accomplish within reasonable limits the prevention of:

  1. The operation of any oil well with an inefficient gas-oil ratio.
  2. The drowning with water of any stratum capable of producing oil or gas, or both oil and gas, in paying quantities.
  3. The avoidable escape into the open air or the wasteful burning of gas from a natural gas well.
  4. The creation of unnecessary fire hazards.
  5. The drilling, equipping, locating, spacing or operating of a well or wells so as to bring about physical waste of oil or gas or loss in the ultimate recovery thereof.
  6. The inefficient, excessive or improper use of the reservoir energy in producing any well.

    The enumeration of the foregoing subjects shall not limit the scope of the authority of any state.

Article IV.

Each state bound hereby agrees that it will, within a reasonable time, enact statutes, or if such statutes have been enacted that it will continue the same in force, providing in effect that oil produced in violation of its valid oil and/or gas conservation statutes or any valid rule, order or regulation promulgated thereunder, shall be denied access to commerce; and providing for stringent penalties for the waste of either oil or gas.

Article V.

It is not the purpose of this compact to authorize the states joining herein to limit the production of oil or gas for the purpose of stabilizing or fixing the price thereof, or to create or perpetuate monopoly, or to promote regimentation, but is limited to the purpose of conserving oil and gas and preventing the avoidable waste thereof within reasonable limitations.

Article VI.

Each state joining herein shall appoint one representative to a commission hereby constituted and designated as the Interstate Oil Compact Commission, the duty of which shall be to make inquiry and ascertain from time to time such methods, practices, circumstances, and conditions as may be disclosed for bringing about conservation and the prevention of physical waste of oil and gas, and at such intervals as the Commission deems beneficial it shall report its findings and recommendations to the several states for adoption or rejection.

The Commission shall have power to recommend the coordination of the exercise of the police powers of the several states within their several jurisdictions to promote the maximum ultimate recovery from the petroleum reserves of the states and to recommend measures for the maximum ultimate recovery of oil and gas. The Commission shall adopt suitable rules and regulations for the conduct of its business.

No action shall be taken by the Commission except: (1) By the affirmative vote of the majority of the whole number of the compacting states represented at any meeting, and (2) by a concurring vote of a majority in interest of the compacting states at the meeting, such interest to be determined as follows: the vote of each state shall be in the decimal proportion fixed by the ratio of its daily average production during the preceding calendar half-year to the daily average production of the compacting states during that period.

Article VII.

No state by joining herein shall become financially obligated to any other state, nor shall the breach of the terms hereof by any state subject that state to financial responsibility to the other states joining herein.

Article VIII.

This compact shall continue in effect until Congress withdraws its consent. Any state joining herein may, upon sixty (60) days' notice, withdraw herefrom.

The representatives of the signatory states have signed this agreement in a single original which shall be deposited in the archives of the Department of State of the United States, and a duly certified copy shall be forwarded to the Governor of each of the signatory states.

This compact shall become effective when ratified and approved as provided in Article I. Any oil-producing state may become a party thereto by affixing its signature to a counterpart to be similarly deposited, certified and ratified.

(1982, c. 570.)

The numbers of §§ 45.1-381 and 45.1-382 were assigned by the Virginia Code Commission, the numbers in the 1982 act having been 45.1-272 and 45.1-273.

Compact cross references. - As to provisions of other member states, see:

Arkansas: A.C.A. §§ 15-72-901 - 15-72-904.

California: Cal Pub Resources Code §§ 3275, 3276.

Florida: Fla. Stat. § 377.01.

Illinois: 45 ILCS 55/0.01 - 55/6.

Kansas: K.S.A. §§ 55-801 - 55-804, 55-862 - 55-866.

Kentucky: KRS § 353.500.

Maryland: Md. Environment Code Ann. § 14-401.

Michigan: MCLS §§ 324.62101, 324.62102.

Montana: Mont. Code Anno., §§ 82-11-301 - 82-11-304.

Nevada: Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 522.160 - 522.190.

New York: NY CLS ECL § 23-2101.

Oklahoma: 52 Okl. St. §§ 203 - 211.

Pennsylvania: 58 P.S. § 192.

South Carolina: S.C. Code Ann. § 48-41-10.

South Dakota: S.D. Codified Laws §§ 45-10-1 - 45-10-6.

Texas: Tex. Nat. Res. Code §§ 90.001 - 90.007.

Research References. - American Gas Association, Regulation of the Gas Industry (Matthew Bender).

Earl A. Brown, The Law of Oil and Gas Leases (Matthew Bender).

Kramer and Martin, The Law of Pooling and Unitization (Matthew Bender).

Larry Crumbley, Oil, Gas and Energy Quarterly (Matthew Bender).

Muchow and Mogel, Energy Law and Transactions (Matthew Bender).

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Law of Federal Oil and Gas Leases (Matthew Bender).

Robert Polevoi, Federal Taxation of Oil and Gas Transactions (Matthew Bender).

Southwestern Legal Foundation, Annual Institute on Oil and Gas Law and Taxation (Matthew Bender).

Southwestern Legal Foundation, Oil and Gas Reporter (Matthew Bender).

Williams and Meyers, Manual of Oil and Gas Terms (Matthew Bender).

Williams and Meyers, Oil and Gas Law (Matthew Bender).

21 Fla Jur Energy.

77 NY Jur Mines and Minerals.

§ 45.1-382. Governor to act as representative to Commission.

  1. The Governor is hereby designated as the official representative of the Commonwealth of Virginia on the Interstate Oil Compact Commission provided for in the compact ratified by this chapter. The Governor shall exercise and perform for the Commonwealth all powers and duties imposed by the compact upon representatives to the Interstate Oil Compact Commission.
  2. The Director is hereby designated to be the assistant representative and shall act as the official representative of the Commonwealth on the Interstate Oil Compact Commission when the authority to so act is delegated to him by the Governor.

    (1982, c. 570; 1984, c. 590.)