(A) No owner of any well shall construct a well, or permit defective casing in a well to leak fluids or gases, that causes damage to other permeable strata, underground sources of drinking water, or the surface of the land or that threatens the public health and safety or the environment. Upon the discovery that the casing in a well is defective or that a well was not adequately constructed, the owner of the well shall notify the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management within twenty-four hours of the discovery, and the owner shall immediately repair the casing, correct the construction inadequacies, or plug and abandon the well.
(B) When the chief finds that a well should be plugged, the chief shall notify the owner to that effect by order in writing and shall specify in the order a reasonable time within which to comply. No owner shall fail or refuse to plug a well within the time specified in the order. Each day on which such a well remains unplugged thereafter constitutes a separate offense.
Where the plugging method prescribed by rules adopted pursuant to section 1509.15 of the Revised Code cannot be applied or if applied would be ineffective in carrying out the protection that the law is meant to give, the chief may designate a different method of plugging. The abandonment report shall show the manner in which the well was plugged.
(C) In case of oil or gas wells abandoned prior to September 1, 1978, the board of county commissioners of the county in which the wells are located may submit to the electors of the county the question of establishing a special fund, by general levy, by general bond issue, or out of current funds, which shall be approved by a majority of the electors voting upon that question for the purpose of plugging the wells. The fund shall be administered by the board and the plugging of oil and gas wells shall be under the supervision of the chief, and the board shall let contracts for that purpose, provided that the fund shall not be used for the purpose of plugging oil and gas wells that were abandoned subsequent to September 1, 1978.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.
Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.27, SB 165, §1, eff. 6/30/2010.
Effective Date: 06-14-2000