Geologic Energy Management Construction Site Plan FAQs

1. What do I need to bring or mail to your office to get my project reviewed? FAX or email submittals are not acceptable.

2. Can the Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM, formerly DOGGR) tell me if there are any oil wells on my property?

3. How do I get a county assessor’s parcel map?

4. Where can I get a complete Construction Site Plan Review Packet?

5. Has the well on my property been abandoned properly?

6. What if there are soil contamination problems on my property? Does CalGEM take care of those?

7. What if there are combustible gas seepage problems on my property?

8. If I have a well on my lot, whom can I contact to permanently seal and close (plug and abandon) the well?

9. Once I turn in my complete application, when can I expect to get my review so I can obtain my building permit?

10. How do I submit my application to CalGEM?

11. I am in a hurry. How can the Construction Site Review process be expedited? How much does CalGEM charge for expediting the review?

12. Why isn’t the well on my property permanently sealed and closed to present-day standards? Why doesn’t the State of California take care of it?

13. Why wasn’t I told about the well on my lot when I bought the property?

14. How do I find a well that may be on my property?

15. Why do I have to look for wells that may be on my neighbor’s property?

16. Why do I need to have my project reviewed if there are no wells on my property?

17. How do I plot the wells on my development plans?

18. Once I locate the well(s) on my property, when can I expect one of your engineers to check and gas-test the well? Is there a cost for this service?

19. I was told that I would have to put a vent cone over the well on my property. Who do I call regarding vent cone information and requirements?

20. Where can I get a surveyor to survey the wells on or near my property?

21. Why do I have to submit an application if I am only adding two (2) feet onto the front of my home?

22. Why do I need to submit three (3) copies of my construction site plans?

23. I am thinking about buying a lot. Can CalGEM check the property and let me know if there are any oil field-related environmental problems so I can decide if I want to buy the lot?

24. I don’t know anything about permanently sealing and closing oil wells. Can CalGEM supply me with a list of consultants or contractors to help me?

25. Who is responsible for permanently sealing and closing the well on my property?


1. You will need to submit the following information:

a. Three (3) copies of your construction site plan including your street location and the nearest cross street.
b. One copy of the county assessor’s parcel map, with the assessor parcel number illustrating your lot.
c. A completed “Construction Site Plan Review Application” form. Make sure to include your city or county plan checker’s name, phone number and email address. Applications may be submitted by fax or email; however, in some cases, fax or email may not be acceptable. Contact the project engineer to determine if fax or email applications can be accepted.

2. No. CalGEM can provide you with a map of the oil field in the vicinity of where your property is located. You may be able to determine if any wells are on or near your property. However, you may want to obtain the services of a consultant to help you through this process. CalGEM's oil field maps can be found on this website also.

3. Contact the county tax assessor’s office in the county where your project is located. In Los Angeles County, you can obtain a map at this website

4. You can print a copy of the complete Construction Site Plan Review Packet from this website or you can call the local office of the Division and one will be mailed to you. See this website for the CalGEM district office that handles the cities and counties in your area.

5. Once you submit your project, CalGEM's construction site review engineer will let you know early in the review process once the well has been identified. If you want to know this information prior to submitting your project, you can obtain an appointment to view the well record or obtain the services of a consultant.

6. No. You should contact the appropriate local city or county office that handles soil contamination issues or contact the local office of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

7. You should contact your local permitting agency with the city or county and check with them about their required mitigation requirements for your location. CalGEM would be involved only if the gas was leaking from a well.

8. Consult CalGEM's  Construction Site Plan Review Packet for the list of well abandonment contractors.

9. We recommend that you submit your project to CalGEM as early as possible. Many of our project reviews are completed in a week or two. However, please allow six to eight weeks for your review to be completed as processing time depends on the volume of projects that are pending.

10. Consult CalGEM's District Contacts webpage for the district office that serves your area. The page will have the addresses and phone numbers that you will need.

11. CalGEM does not charge for a review. To get your review done quickly, please make sure that you have submitted a complete application along with all the associated information. The project engineers are working as fast as they can and will try to get to your project as soon as possible.

12. The Construction Site Plan Review Program was started in 1985. Since then, all wells with construction over or in proximity to them have had their sealing and closing brought up to present-day standards. However, oil operations have been occurring since the late 1890s and many of the older wells are not sealed and closed to present-day standards. CalGEM has limited funds for orphan well plugging, and no funds for well re-abandonment due to construction. That responsibility falls upon the property owner.

13. Notification of a well on your property is a disclosure matter. You should consult with your escrow company or title company. Notifying homeowners regarding wells on their property is not a function of CalGEM.

14. Working with consultants, you can use land survey techniques, magnetometer studies or ground penetrating radar studies. Your CalGEM project engineer may have some company names that they can give you.

15. If you choose the land survey option to locate wells on your property, you must survey all the non-GPS (Global Positioning System) wells that are within 800 feet of your property. Most of these wells will not be located on your property. The survey will show you which ones are on your property.

16. Your permitting agency believes that there may be wells on your property. The project review is the process you go through to determine if there are actually wells on your property and how they should be addressed. You may not see any wells on the surface because they have been abandoned many years ago and are buried below the surface.

17. Please refer to page 2 of the Construction Site Plan Review Packet for well- plotting instructions. You must also submit your sub-meter GPS locations for any well(s) on you project.

18. Once you have located the wells, excavated the area to expose the well casing, and cut off the metal plate welded to the top of the casing, contact the project engineer who will schedule a field engineer to perform the required gas testing. Usually the field engineer will visit your site within a day or two. There is no cost for this service.

19. CalGEM recommends that the applicant install a vent over any abandoned well that is under or in the proximity of a building. You should contact the local permitting agency for the specifications on the type of vent system required by the city or county.

20. Contact your CalGEM project engineer who can give you a few names of surveyors that may work in your area. You can also check the Yellow Pages under surveys for additional survey companies.

21. Anytime the footprint of a building is expanded, CalGEM must review the project site to ascertain if you will be blocking access to a well.

22.  CalGEM requires three (3) copies so that we can return a reviewed copy to you, send one copy to the building department of the local permitting agency, and retain one copy at the CalGEM district office.

23. No. CalGEM is presently staffed to handle building project applications. CALGEM may have oil field maps that cover the property that you are interested in purchasing. However, the scale of these maps may make it difficult for you to determine if one or more wells are located on your property. You may want to obtain the services of a consultant to help you with these issues.

24. Yes. Just click on the Developer Packet icon and there is a list of consultants and abandonment contractors you can contact.

25. Normally, if you are proposing to build, construct, or add to a structure, you are responsible for any sealing and closing work that may be necessary.

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