In Virginia, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) provides for the development and conservation of energy and mineral resources, in a safe and environmentally sound manner. DMME, through its agencies regulates the mineral industry, provides mineral research and offers advice on wise use of resources.
Generally, DMME has six divisions. They are:
- The Division of Mined Land Reclamation (DMLR);
- The Division of Mines;
- The Division of Mineral Mining (DMM);
- The Division of Gas and Oil;
- The Division of Geology and Mineral Resources (DGMR); and
- The Division of Energy.
The Division of Mined Land Reclamation (DMLR) is responsible for providing the reclamation of land affected by surface and underground coal mining activity. The function of DMLR includes regulating surface effects of coal mining, reclaiming abandoned mine lands, issuing permits, performing inspections, assisting small operators, and responding to citizen concerns.
The Division of Mines (Division) provides for the protection of life and health of all people employed at surface and underground coal mining operations. The Division also insures the mine operator’s compliance with mine safety requirements. The function of the Division includes inspecting mines regularly, investigating accidents and fatalities, training and certification of miners, and providing technical assistance to mine operators.
The Division of Mineral Mining (DMM) provides for the safe and environmentally sound production of Virginia’s non-fuel minerals. DMM regulates both health and safety, and surface mining reclamation regulatory programs for all non-coal mineral mining operations.
The Division of Gas and Oil provides for the regulation of the effects of gas and oil operations both on and below the surface. The Division of Gas and Oil’s function includes issuing permits, providing client assistance programs, inspecting well sites and gathering pipelines, reclaiming abandoned well sites, protecting correlative rights, and promoting resource conservation practices.
The Division of Geology and Mineral Resources (DGMR) provides for sustainable development through wise use of mineral, land, water, and energy resources. The function of DGMR includes publishing maps and reports, maintaining repositories of geological and geophysical data, and providing expert assistance in geology and mineral resource matters.
The Division of Energy provides for the sustainable energy practices and behaviors. The Division of Energy’s function includes increasing the use of proven energy conservation practices in Virginia; fostering the sustainable growth of energy industries and infrastructure; identifying application of new and innovative energy technologies in Virginia; advancing partnerships, improving the energy efficiency of commercial, institutional, and residential buildings in Virginia; and providing energy education and outreach to Virginians to increase their ability to make informed energy choices.
Further, the State Corporation Commission (Commission) of Virginia regulates the energy, utilities, insurance, state-chartered financial institutions, securities, retail franchising, and railroads. The Commission applies the law and regulation to balance the interests of citizens, businesses, and customers in regulating Virginia’s business and economic concerns.