Bill Text: CA SB47 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Oil and gas: hazardous and idle-deserted wells and production facilities: expenditure limitations.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-02-17 - Re-referred to Com. on N.R. & W. [SB47 Detail]

Download: California-2021-SB47-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Senate  February 04, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 47


Introduced by Senator Limón

December 07, 2020


An act relating to oil and gas. An act to amend Section 3258 of the Public Resources Code, relating to oil and gas.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 47, as amended, Limón. Oil and gas: orphan wells. Oil and gas: hazardous and idle-deserted wells and production facilities: expenditure limitations.
Existing law authorizes the State Oil and Gas Supervisor to order certain operations to be carried out on any property in the vicinity of which, or on which, is located any well or facility that the supervisor determines to be a hazardous well, an idle-deserted well, a hazardous facility, or a deserted facility, as specified.
Existing law prohibits the Geologic Energy Management Division from expending more than $3,000,000 in any one fiscal year, for the 2018–19 fiscal year to the 2021–22 fiscal year, inclusive, and, commencing with the 2022–23 fiscal year, no more than $1,000,000 in any one fiscal year for those purposes related to hazardous wells, idle-deserted wells, hazardous facilities, and deserted facilities. Existing law establishes the Oil and Gas Environmental Remediation Account in the Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Administrative Fund to be administered and managed by the division, and requires that the moneys in the account be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to plug and abandon oil and gas wells, decommission attendant facilities, or otherwise remediate sites that the supervisor determines could pose a danger to life, health, water quality, wildlife, or natural resources if there is no operator determined by the supervisor to be responsible for remediation or who is able to respond.
This bill, commencing with the 2022–23 fiscal year, instead would indefinitely raise the cap on spending for these purposes from $1,000,000 to $10,000,000 in any one fiscal year. The bill would require the Controller, in any fiscal year that the division expends less than $10,000,000 for those purposes related to hazardous wells, idle-deserted wells, hazardous facilities, and deserted facilities, to transfer from the General Fund to the account an amount equal to the difference of $10,000,000 and what was expended for those purposes by the division for that fiscal year, unless there is more than $100,000,000 in the account.

Existing law authorizes the State Oil and Gas Supervisor to order certain operations to be carried out on any property in the vicinity of which, or on which, is located any well or facility that the supervisor determines to be a hazardous well, an idle-deserted well, a hazardous facility, or a deserted facility, as specified. Existing law establishes the Oil and Gas Environmental Remediation Account in the Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Administrative Fund to be administered and managed by the Geologic Energy Management Division, and requires that the moneys in the account be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to plug and abandon oil and gas wells, decommission attendant facilities, or otherwise remediate sites that the supervisor determines could pose a danger to life, health, water quality, wildlife, or natural resources if there is no operator determined by the supervisor to be responsible for remediation or who is able to respond.

This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to orphaned oil and gas wells.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 3258 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

3258.
 (a) The division shall not make expenditures pursuant to this article that exceed in any one fiscal year:
(1) Three million dollars ($3,000,000) ($3,000,000), commencing on July 1, 2018, for the 2018–19 fiscal year, and continuing for three fiscal years thereafter.
(2) One Ten million dollars ($1,000,000), ($10,000,000), commencing with the 2022–23 fiscal year.
(b) Moneys expended pursuant to this article shall be used exclusively for plugging and abandoning hazardous or idle-deserted wells and decommissioning hazardous or deserted facilities and shall not be used for nonwell or nonproduction facility-related activities and payments.
(c) The division shall develop criteria for determining the priority of plugging and abandoning hazardous or idle-deserted wells and decommissioning hazardous or deserted facilities to be remediated pursuant to this article. The Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) does not apply to the development of criteria by the division pursuant to this subdivision.
(d) Commencing with the 2022–23 fiscal year, in any fiscal year that the division expends less than ten million dollars ($10,000,000) pursuant to this article, the Controller shall transfer from the General Fund to the Oil and Gas Environmental Remediation Account, established pursuant to Section 3261, an amount equal to the difference of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) and what was expended pursuant to this article by the division for that fiscal year, unless there is more than one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) in the account.

(d)

(e) (1) (A) On April 1, 2021, the department shall report to the Legislature on the number of hazardous wells, idle-deserted wells, deserted facilities, and hazardous facilities remaining, the estimated costs of abandoning and decommissioning those wells and facilities, and a timeline for future abandonment and decommissioning of those wells and facilities with a specific schedule of goals.
(B) As part of the report required in subparagraph (A), the department shall provide recommendations to the Legislature for improving and optimizing the involvement of local agencies in the process of plugging and abandoning wells and decommissioning facilities. In drafting these recommendations, the department shall consider factors unique to each of the division’s districts, and shall consult with local agencies in developing recommendations.
(C) In collecting the information for the report required in subparagraph (A), the division shall conduct field inspections of hazardous wells, idle-deserted wells, deserted facilities, and hazardous facilities and include information in the report from the field inspections that can be used to prioritize those wells and facilities in the specific schedule of goals.
(2) On October 1, 2023, the department shall provide to the Legislature an update on the report required in paragraph (1) that describes the total costs, average costs per well and facility, the number of wells plugged and abandoned, the number of facilities decommissioned, the total number of projects completed, and any additional wells and facilities identified by the department requiring abandonment or decommissioning.
(3) The report and update to the report required to be submitted under this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(4) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under this subdivision is inoperative on October 1, 2027, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to orphaned oil and gas wells.

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