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 are currently being updated and are expected to become effective April 1, 2019. These regulations will 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 for the management and elimination of the operator’s long-term idle wells. The annual idle well fee and Idle Well Management Plans 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 Idle Well Management Plans can be found below.
Public Resources Code Section 3206.1 mandates that DOGGR review, evaluate, and update its regulations pertaining to idle wells. On February 12, 2019, the Department of Conservation sent public notice regarding a modification to proposed regulations entitled Requirements for Idle Well Testing and Management. The 15-day public comment period ends on February 28, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
These regulations include testing requirements, a testing waiver program, engineering analysis for wells idle for 15 years or longer, enhances to IWMPs, and more.
More information will become available in this section in the coming months.
Idle Well Inventories
DOGGR manages four idle well inventories: annual fee inventory, IWMP inventory, compliance period inventory, and the current inventory.
Idle Well Definitions