The Resource Agency history of the Virginia Dept. of Mines, Minerals and Energy
- Agency history of the Virginia Dept. of Mines, Minerals and Energy
- Mine safety -- Virginia
- Reclamation of land -- Virginia
- State government records
- Virginia Conservation Commission
- Mines and mineral resources -- Virginia
- Power resources -- Virginia
- Geology -- Virginia
- Land use -- Virginia
- Energy policy -- Virginia
- Energy conservation -- Virginia
- Mineral resources conservation -- Virginia
- Coal mines and mining -- Virginia
- Rogers, William Barton, 1804-1882
- Mining engineering -- Virginia
- Environmental protection -- Virginia
- Biographical or historical data
- The Dept. of Mines, Minerals, and Energy has its beginnings in the appointment of William B. Rogers as state geologist, based on an act of the General Assembly approved March 6, 1835, authorizing a geological reconnaissance of the state. Early in the nineteenth century several conservation agencies were statutorily established to handle specific areas of need. In 1926 the State Commission of Conservation and Development was created to consolidate these agencies, which included the Water Power and Development Commission, the State Geological Commission, the State Geological Survey, Office of the State Geologist, Office of the State Forester, and the Division of Parks.
- On March 1, 1938, the commission was renamed the Virginia Conservation Commission, and on March 30, 1948, it became the Department of Conservation and Development, as a result of the state government reorganization act. At this time the divisions were: Forestry, Litter Control, Mined Land Reclamation, Geology, Outer Continental Shelf Activity, Parks, Salt Water Sport Fishing Tournament, and the Virginia State Travel Service. During and following World War II there was increased interest in energy and mineral resources. New techniques of analysis, both in the field and laboratory were utilized.
- Although stream gauging had been left to other government agencies, and oil and gas inspection to the Dept. of Labor and Industry, groundwater activities remained until they were transferred to the Division of Water Resources in 1969, and two years later, to the State Water Control Board. The new director of the department was interested in expanding the Division of Geology to investigate mineral resources for which there was insufficient data, including groundwater. There was some conflict in the view that the state should be involved directly with the establishment of mineral industries in Virginia; the Division of Geology was considered primarily a research division. Both aspects were needed, of course. In 1949, with the help of the governor, a natural resources building was erected at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville to house the division.
- In 1958, the Department of Conservation and Development added the modifier "economic" to the name, and the Division of Geology became the Division of Mineral Resources. The commissioner of the division also held the position of State Geologist. Topographic and geophysical mapping were of particular interest to the commissioner, and in the mid 1970's the division published its first environmental map, thus beginning its involvement in depicting geologic factors that affected land utilization and land-use planning.
- The first detailed mineral industries map of the state was also produced. The division became involved with the consortium of 31 petroleum companies studying energy resources in the Outer Continental Shelf, and a study of coal resources was made.
- In 1983 a series of mine accidents helped to trigger the consolidation of mining and mineral activities into the present Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The act, which was approved April 7, 1984, brought together the divisions of mineral resources, mines and quarries, mined land reclamation, energy, and included the duties with regard to mine safety previously administered by the Department of Labor and Industry. The mission is to enhance the development and conservation of energy and mineral resources in a safe and environmentally sound manner in order to support a more productive economy in Virginia.
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