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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Well Ownership Responsibilities

If you acquire, own or operate a natural gas or oil well, you are legally responsible for meeting the following state regulatory requirements:

  • Comply with the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law and Regulations and operate the well in a safe and environmentally responsible manner (Environmental Conservation Law Article 23 and 6 NYCRR Parts 550 - 559),
  • Submit all required paperwork, as described below,
  • Properly dispose of brine and other waste products from the well,
  • Properly handle any oil the well produces,
  • Plug the well when extraction is complete, unless DEC approves transfer of the plugging responsibility to another party. (A landowner well cannot be shut-in, or not producing, for more than one year without being plugged, or obtaining written department approval for an extension.) and,
  • Inform yourself of taxes and any applicable local fire codes.

Plugging a Well

Plugging a well is not a do-it-yourself job. You must use a plugging contractor registered with the Division of Mineral Resources, and you must apply for a plugging permit. There is no fee for the permit.

It generally costs between $3,000 and $7,500 to plug a well. However, if a well has been poorly maintained, it may cost much more to plug it.

More about Well Ownership Responsibilities:

  • Financial Security - Well owners must maintain sufficient financial security to ensure well plugging and surface restoration.
  • Well Plugging - A well may be permanently plugged and abandoned by an owner's decision or required by applicable state regulation. A Plugging Permit must be obtained prior to commencing work.
  • Required Reports - Reports to DEC by well owners form the basis of the Department's program to maintain compliance with the Oil, Gas and Solution Salt Mining Law.
  • Well Transfer - A well owner proposing to transfer the legal ownership of a well must notify the Department of the identity of the new owner on a Department-approved form.
  • Shut-In or Temporary Abandonment - Shut-In or Temporary Abandonment Well Form for the Division of Mineral Resources.
  • Organizational Report - Division of Mineral Resources - All owners of wells regulated by the Division of Mineral resources are required to file an Organizational Report.
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  • Contact for this Page
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    Albany NY 12233-6500
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