Conservation

Grant Programs

Well Decommissioning

The NPCA Groundwater Study and the NPCA Source Water Protection watershed characterization studies state that abandoned water wells are potential contamination sources requiring immediate attention. Abandoned or unused water wells represent a direct threat to groundwater supplies as contaminants applied to the surface may easily flow through these open conduits and reach the water table. While the exact number is currently not known, abandoned water wells in the NPCA watershed number at least in the hundreds. It is recognized that the decommissioning or “plugging and sealing” of abandoned water wells is a legal requirement of the property owner according to provincial regulation; however, decommissioning costs can be prohibitive.

The NPCA is pleased to offer a grant program to watershed residents for the plugging and sealing of abandoned or unused water wells. The NPCA Water Well Decommissioning Program provides an 80% grant rate to a maximum amount of $1,000 per well, with a maximum of two wells per property. Watershed residents interested in this grant program must first complete a Grant Application Form and be pre-approved by the NPCA before initiating their project. Projects already underway or completed without NPCA approval are not eligible for grant funding. Applications received by the NPCA will be assessed individually on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please read the Terms & Conditions for Funding Assistance and Project Eligibility Criteria before filling out the application.

An abandoned oil and gas well on your property is a hazard to the environment and your health and safety. Such wells are also significant obstacles to new development and can be a financial liability to the landowner. Identifying and reporting abandoned oil and gas wells and properly plugging them is important. The Abandoned Works Program was established in 2005 to plug abandoned oil and natural gas wells to protect public health and safety and source water resources. Any oil or gas well drilled on land before 1963 that has not been used by the landowner and no responsible party for the well other than the landowner can be found qualifies for funding through the Abandoned Works Program. All costs are paid by the Ministry of Natural Resources provided that you grant written permission for the contractor to enter your property to do the work. If access to the land is denied the Ministry may order the landowner to plug the well and the owner pays for the plugging. For more information, visit the Ministry of Natural Resources Abandoned Works Program page. To report a leaking or abandoned well, contact the Petroleum Resources Centre at 519-873-4786.

Licensed contractor and/or licensed technician fees incurred for water well decommissioning (as approved by NPCA). Grant will cover 80% of well decommissioning costs to a maximum of $1,000 per well (limit of 2 wells per property). This is a reimbursement program; the landowner will pay the full cost to the contractor, and will be reimbursed for 80% of the total project cost up to $1,000 after all receipts, invoices and water well decommissioning records are submitted to the NPCA.
The funding assistance for this project is subject to the following Terms and Conditions:

DO YOU HAVE AN ABANDONED OIL OR GAS WELL ON YOUR PROPERTY?

WATER WELL DECOMMISSIONING GRANT PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY AND TERMS
PROJECT ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
  • Grants are available for the decommissioning of unused water wells only. Oil wells, gas wells and cisterns are not eligible under this program. Please contact the Ministry of Natural Resources at 519-873-4634 for information regarding oil and gas well decommissioning.
  • The proposed work must be completed by a water well contractor licensed by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) as set out in Ontario Regulation 903.
  • The proposed work must comply with the MOE procedures for plugging or abandoning water wells according to Ontario Regulation 903. Details of the procedure must be documented on the water well record submitted to the MOE by the hired water well contractor upon completion.
  • A copy of the water well record must also be submitted to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) by the landowner or the hired water well contractor upon completion.
  • Grants are available to qualifying landowners and lands located withing the NPCA jurisdiction.
  • Priority will be given to:
    • Hydrogeologically sensitive areas (based on NPCA Groundwater Study or other studies endorsed by NPCA)
    • Projects located in areas with a high density of domestic water wells, and
    • Areas where watershed plans have been completed or are on-going.

  • All proposals are subject to review and approval by NPCA staff.
  • Applicants must apply and be approved prior to initiating their project. Projects already underway or completed without NPCA approval are not eligible.
ELIGIBLE COSTS

Licensed contractor and/or licensed technician fees incurred for water well decommissioning (as approved by NPCA). Grant will cover 80% of well decommissioning costs to a maximum of $1,000 per well (limit of 2 wells per property). This is a reimbursement program; the landowner will pay the full cost to the contractor, and will be reimbursed for 80% of the total project cost up to $1,000 after all receipts, invoices and water well decommissioning records are submitted to the NPCA.

TERM & CONDITIONS FOR FUNDING ASSISTANCE
  • All projects must receive approval from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) before they are started. Work which proceeds prior to receiving NPCA approval may not qualify for funding assistance.
  • The applicant is required to submit a completed application form and at least two (2) quotes for the proposed work.
  • Work must be completed according to the approved plans and specifications and to the satisfaction of the NPCA in order to receive grant assistance.
  • Work must be completed by a water well contractor licensed by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) as set out in Ontario Regulation 903. A copy of the well contractor’s license must be provided to NPCA. The proposed project must comply with Ontario MOE procedures for plugging or abandoning water wells according to Ontario Regulation 903. A copy of the completed water well decommissioning record must be submitted to the NPCA.
  • The landowner is responsible for all payments to the contractor(s). The NPCA will not be responsible for any payments to contractors hired by the owner. The NPCA will issue a reimbursement cheque directly to the landowner upon completion of the work. The landowner must submit copies of receipts, invoices marked ‘Paid in Full’ and/or copies of cancelled cheques, both front and back. Invoices and receipts must provide a detailed inventory of labour hours, quantities of materials purchased and all other costs associated with the approved works.
  • This application for funding assistance is not an application for a permit. The work must meet the requirements of all applicable provincial and municipal laws and by-laws.
  • Projects will be completed to the satisfaction of the NPCA within a defined and agreed time period as outlined in the approved project plan. The owner will not alter, interfere with or otherwise modify the project without prior written consent of the NPCA and other agencies involved.
  • NPCA shall have access to the site where any part of the work is being carried out at all reasonable times during construction and after construction for the purposes of conducting project assessment.