*UPDATE III* The Latest RUMA
UPDATE III (4/19/13, 2:55 pm ET)
For over a year, Energy in Depth has updated our readers about RUMAs, which are agreements between a producer and a county that cover road repairs, upgrades and bonding. The idea behind the RUMA is simple: Leave it better than you found it. Perhaps even more important is that the agreement stipulates designated travel routes for heavy equipment to ensure safety and minimize impact. Recently, the Marietta Times featured one such agreement between PDC Energy and Washington County. It focused on a three-mile street in Adams Township on Dixon Ridge Road where PDC is developing a well pad site. Moving a few counties north into the heartbeat of the Utica play we find ourselves in Carroll County, which has seen great success in road repairs thanks to RUMAs. Here’s some coverage of the PDC agreement:
“Before the work began I reached out to other areas of the state like Carroll County where oil and gas companies have been doing horizontal drilling, In 2011 those companies spent nearly $30 million on road improvements there.” -Washington County Commissioner Ron Feathers (Driller’s road work welcomed in Adams Twp., 4/17/13)
“The RUMA with PDC one of the best things that’s happened for this township.” -Adams Township Trustee Wayne Isner (Driller’s road work welcomed in Adams Twp., 4/17/13)
While RUMAs are with local governments — as written into law in Senate Bill 315 — Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray weighed in on the topic during an interview with the Times Reporter.
“It’s important that we do what we can to protect the taxpayers’ investment in our roads and bridges.” -Jerry Wray, Director of ODOT. (State rules protect roads from oil-and-gas impact 5/16/12)
With RUMAs, companies are showing that they are good corporate neighbors. But more importantly, these agreements allow for millions of dollars of investments to improve infrastructure in eastern Ohio, which in turn helps put people back to work.
UPDATE II (4/19/12, 1:00 pm ET)
Yesterday, officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, as well as township and local trustees, and oil and gas industry representatives met in Jefferson County to discuss the model Road Usage Management Agreement. Producers must have a RUMA to earn a permit to work in a given location. The agreement will ensure proper maintenance of roads used in the development of Ohio’s natural resources in the Utica Shale.
Through ODNR’s website, Ohioans have total access to the information with those permits. Located in the oil and gas section of the website, people can use a map locator or a spreadsheet to find any well in the state. These resources will allow people to contact energy companies in their area directly to address any questions they may have.
UPDATE I (4/17/12, 8:00 pm ET)
According to this afternoon’s report, directors from the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Governor’s office of Appalachia will hold an announcement tomorrow providing the details of a model Road Usage Maintenance Agreement that can be used by localities throughout the state.
—Original post from March 15, 2012—
Have you heard the new RUMA? It’s something most Ohioans will be familiar with in the near future. RUMA, or the Road Usage Maintenance Agreement, is an agreement between a governing body, in Ohio typically a county or a township, and an oil and gas exploration company.
An example of this agreement can be found on the Ohio County Engineer’s Association website. It is an opportunity for oil and gas developers and municipalities to reach an agreement that, either on the front end or back-end of a project, the oil and gas company will repair and or maintain a section of road. This agreement needs to be in place before a permit request is submitted to ODNR. So before an oil and gas company begins to set up operations they must have a RUMA in place.
What Does a RUMA Cover?
Mr. Lloyd Macadam, Ohio Department of Transportation, District 11, Deputy Director
Many individuals and groups were involved in creating the working RUMA model for Ohio. ODOT District 11 , lead by Deputy Director Lloyd MacAdam, organized a group consisting of several entities; county commissioners and their association, township trustees and their member association, county engineers and their joint association, the Ohio Railroad Association, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Governor’s office, Winter Meeting of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA), several speakers addressed the subject, providing information and answering questions from the audience. The panel of speakers included Mr. Bruce Levengood with Sound Energy Company INC, Mr. Ryan Dean with Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Mr. Tom Tugend with ODNR, Mr. Lloyd Macadam with ODOT and Staff Lt. Robert Warner of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
How did Ohio handle creating RUMA agreements with public safety?
Staff LT. Robert Warner, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Office of Field Operations, Commander, Licensing & Commercial Standards
What is ODNR’s role with RUMAs?
Mr. Tom Tugend, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mineral Resource Management, Deputy Chief
RUMAs are just another example of how the natural gas industry is a good neighbor and is providing support (along with jobs & revenue) to our local governments.