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OXY USA SUES BUCHANAN COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 OXY USA SUES BUCHANAN COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
 Richlands, Va., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- OXY USA Inc. yesterday


filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia against the Buchanan County Virginia Board of Supervisors and certain individual board members for injunction and declaratory relief regarding an "emergency" ordinance against the operation of injection wells passed by the Board of Supervisors, Sept. 21, 1992.
 Underground injection has proved to be a safe and environmentally sound method of produced water disposal. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and state injection programs, prior to granting approval for an injection well, require demonstrated protection of potential underground sources of drinking water.
 OXY USA has lawfully obtained permits from both the U.S. EPA and the Virginia Dept. of Mines, Minerals, and Energy to operate its injection well.
 "These are the only agencies with authority to regulate underground injection wells in our Commonwealth," Glenn M. Vangolen, OXY USA project manager, said. "We have tried to work with the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors to agree upon assurances regarding the safe operation of this well which is vital to the operation of our coalbed methane gas project here in Virginia, and to the continued production of methane gas which benefits our affiliate, Island Creek Coal."
 Allowing the board to effectively prevent further operations of this project could result in revenue losses to OXY USA, its hundreds of royalty owners, local area contractors and other working interest owners over a billion dollars.
 The financial impact to coal and gas development in southwestern Virginia would be an additional burden, if the ordinance is allowed to stand.
 "The Board's emergency ordinance presumes it can arbitrarily assume authority which it clearly does not have under either Federal law or the laws of the Commonwealth. The members of the Board have left us no option but to ask the courts to clear up this issue once and for all, and instruct the Board members that they cannot exceed their authority under the law," Vangolen said.
 OXY USA Inc. is the domestic oil and gas unit of Occidental Oil and Gas Corp., which, along with Island Creek Corp., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY).
 -0- 10/14/92
 /CONTACT: Glenn M. Vangolen, project manager of OXY USA, 703-964-9802/
 (OXY) CO: OXY USA Inc.; Buchanan County Virginia Board of Supervisors;
 Occidental Petroleum Corp. ST: Virginia IN: OIL SU:


GT -- SF004 -- 9813 10/14/92 11:27 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 14, 1992
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