of 1972, commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act ("CWA"), and other statutes as they pertain to the prevention of and response to oil spills into navigable waters. The OPA subjects owners of facilities to strict joint and several liability for all containment and cleanup costs and certain other damages arising from a spill, including, but not limited to, the costs of responding to a release of oil to surface waters. The CW A provides penalties for any discharges of petroleum product in reportable quantities and imposes substantial liability for the costs of removing a spill. State laws for the control of water pollution also provide varying civil and criminal penalties and liabilities in the case of releases of petroleum or its derivatives into surface waters or into the ground. Regulations are currently being developed under OPA and state laws concerning oil pollution prevention and other matters that may impose additional regulatory burdens on the Company. In addition, the CW A and analogous state laws require permits to be obtained to authorize discharges into surface waters or to construct facilities in wetland areas. With respect to certain of its operations, the Company is required to maintain such permits or meet general permit requirements. The EPA recently adopted regulations concerning discharges of storm water runoff. This program requires covered facilities to obtain individual permits, participate in a group permit or seek coverage under an EPA general permit. The Company believes that it will be able to obtain, or be included under, such permits, where necessary, with minor modifications to existing facilities and operations that would not have a material effect on the Company.
NORM. Oil and gas exploration and production activities have been identified as generators of concentrations of low-level naturally-occurring radioactive materials ("NORM"). NORM regulations have recently been adopted in several states. The Company is unable to estimate the effect of these regulations, although based upon the Company's preliminary analysis to date, the Company does not believe that its compliance with such regulations will have a material adverse effect on its operations or financial condition.
Safe Drinking Water Act. The Company's operations involve the disposal of produced saltwater and other nonhazardous oil-field wastes by reinjection into the subsurface. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act ("SDWA"), oil and gas operators, such as the Company, must obtain a permit for the construction and operation of underground Class II injection wells. To protect against contamination of drinking water, periodic mechanical integrity tests are often required to be performed by the well operator. The Company has obtained such permits for the Class II wells it operates. The Company also has disposed of wastes in facilities other than those owned by the Company (commercial Class II injection wells). Toxic Substances Control Act. The Toxic Substances Control Act ("TSCA") was enacted to control the adverse effects of newly manufactured and existing chemical substances. Under the TSCA, the EPA has issued specific rules and regulations governing the use, labeling, maintenance, removal from service and disposal of PCB items, such as transformers and capacitors used by oil and gas companies. The Company may own such PCB items but does not believe compliance with TSCA has or will have a material adverse effect on the Company's operations or financial condition. Title to Properties
Title to properties is subject to royalty, overriding royalty, carried, net profits, working and other similar interests and contractual arrangements customary in the oil and gas industry, to liens for current taxes not yet due and to other encumbrances. As is customary in the industry in the case of undeveloped properties, only cursory investigation of record title is made at the time of acquisition. Drilling title opinions are usually prepared before commencement of drilling operations. From time to time, the Company's title to oil and gas properties is challenged through legal proceedings. The Company is routinely involved in litigation involving title to certain of its oil and gas properties, none of which management believes will be materially adverse to the Company, individually or in the aggregate. Operating Hazards and Insurance
The oil and gas business involves a variety of operating risks, including the risk of fire, explosions, blowouts, pipe failure, abnormally pressured formations and environmental hazards such as oil spills, gas leaks, ruptures or discharges of toxic gases, the occurrence of any of which could result in substantial losses to the Company due to injury or loss of life, severe damage to or destruction of property, natural resources and 17