State Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) today announced the Ohio House recently passed House Bill 225, bipartisan legislation that would provide needed resources to safely fix and seal abandoned oil and gas drilling wells in Lake County and throughout Ohio.
“Our local natural resources are an important part of our community’s economic strength and appeal,” said Rogers. “The responsibility to safely restore and protect our lands and aquifers for the future comes with accessing those resources. From our pristine waters to what’s beneath our feet, this bill better positions us to do exactly that.”
With his co-sponsorship and vote supporting this legislation, Rep. Rogers noted the bill results in a 200-percent increase in funding, stemming from redirected revenues generated by oil and gas operations around the state.
This year the state has scheduled in excess of 70 wells statewide to be capped, and seven of these abandoned wells are located in Lake County. With the cost to cap and seal a well averaging $70,000, Lake County could potentially see about $490,000 total for the seven wells located in North Perry, Willoughby (3), Mentor Twp. (2), and Madison Twp.
Under the legislation, the state would be required to notify citizens through the local newspaper when an abandoned well is scheduled to be sealed in addition to directly contacting landowners who have an abandon well on their property.
Ultimately, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has the final say over which wells are funded and sealed.
The legislation now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.