Enhancing Safety and Emergency Preparedness: Elgin County Secures Funding for Legacy Wells Initiative
For Immediate Release
January 19, 2024
Central Elgin, ON – The County of Elgin is pleased to announce that our application for Legacy Wells funding from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has been approved.
Our Emergency Management staff have been working closely with our member municipalities and Ministry staff to examine the issue of Legacy Wells. There are approximately 27,000 oil and gas wells identified on record, primarily on private land in southwestern Ontario. Many others may be undocumented.
Ontario is investing in a province-wide multi-year action plan to research, identify, and address the risks of abandoned oil and gas wells. This is a complex, multi-faceted program that includes extensive work by the province to provide technical assistance and response resources for the municipalities and property owners who face this risk.
“On behalf of the County of Elgin and its local municipal partners, we wish to thank the Province of Ontario and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for their steadfast dedication to examining and addressing the challenges associated with legacy oil and gas wells,” expressed Warden Ed Ketchabaw. “We appreciate the impact this significant financial investment will have in our community and the province’s recognition of the need to provide further assistance.”
Elgin County is part of the year one pilot program and is focusing these initial funds towards safety training for emergency responders and municipal staff who may be in close contact with abandoned wells. The County will also be able to enhance its overall emergency preparedness through improvements to its emergency management and emergency social services programs. The protection of the health and safety of the public remains Elgin County’s top priority.
For information on the Ontario’s Abandoned Works Program, be sure to visit the Abandoned Works Program webpage. Residents with questions or concerns about gas leaks on or near their property can contact the Spills Action Centre, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks at 416-325-3000, 1-800-268-6060 (toll-free), or 1-855-889-5775 (TTY).
– 30 –