For Operators - Idle Well Program

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Operators in possession of any idle well are required to comply with statutory and regulatory provisions. The statutory provisions for idle wells were amended and added to the Public Resources Code in 2017 and 2018, see Sections 3206, 3206.1, 3206.3, 3206.5. The regulatory provisions were updated and took effect April 1, 2019. These regulations revise California Code of Regulations, title 14, division 2, chapter 4, subchapters 1 and 2.


Operators in possession of any idle well are required to either file an annual idle well fee or file an Idle Well Management Plan (IWMP) for the management and elimination of the operator’s long-term idle wells. The annual idle well fee and IWMPs are due May 1 of each year. The requirements for both can be found in Public Resources Code Section 3206. Information regarding the annual idle well fee and IWMPs can be found below.



On March 20, 2019, the Office of Administrative Law approved the Idle Well Testing and Management Regulations. The regulations were filed with the Secretary of State and became effective April 1, 2019.

  • Final Text of the Regulations

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    These regulations include testing requirements, a testing waiver program, engineering analysis for wells idle for 15 years or longer, enhancements to IWMPs, and more. ​

  • 2019 Testing Compliance Work Plan​ (Excel)​

  • 2019 Testing Waiver​ (Excel)
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  • 2019 15-Year Engineering Analysis​​​ (Excel)  
  • Idle Well Inventories

    CalGEM manages four idle well inventories: annual fee inventory, IWMP inventory, compliance period inventory, and the current inventory.

    Idle Well Definitions