A bill to assist the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in
plugging abandoned oil wells passed the state Senate 44-0 on
Monday, and now goes to the House of Representatives.
Lawmakers also passed bills addressing solid waste management
and a proposed Product Development Act.
Senate Bill 894 by Sen. Ray Giles, D-Pocasset, and Rep. Larry
Rice, D-Pryor, would give the state a lien on all abandoned oil and
gas well-site equipment. A well would be deemed abandoned if there
was no activity such as production, injection, disposal or testing
for a year. Another criterion would be lack of maintenance of the
well in compliance with plugging rules.
The designation of "abandonment" would apply only for getting
the lien, but it wouldn't affect the term of property or contract
rights on the premises.
Giles said the purpose of the legislation is to help the
corporation commission with well plugging.
Senate Bill 683, passed 43-0 by the Senate, would require
extensive background disclosure information on applicants for solid
waste disposal facilities in Oklahoma. Permits are handled by the
Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Principal authors of the bill, which now goes to the House, are
Giles and Rep. M.C. Leist, D-Morris.
The bill thoroughly defines the term waste "transfer station"
to mean any disposal site, processing facility or other place where
solid waste is transferred from a vehicle or container to another
one for transport.
This could include a barge or railroad unloading facility.
The bill would make it illegal to operate a disposal site
without a permit for solid or hazardous waste disposal, or merely
to dump wastes at an unpermitted place.
Applications for land disposal site permits would have to
include a closure plan, to be conducted in phases. Financial
assurances would have to be posted in an adequate amount to cover
the estimated cost of closure.
The bill was amended to raise the per-ton disposal fee for
certain wastes from out-of-state from $1.50 to $5 a ton. Included
are sludge and biomedical waste. Currently, the fee is $1.50 across
the board, and the in-state fee would remain at that.
Senate Bill 643, passed 43-0, would establish a program to
give product development assistance to Oklahoma manufacturing and
Co-authored by Sens. Don Williams, D-Balko, Robert Kerr,
D-Altus, and Don McCorkell, D-Tulsa, the measure now goes to the
Under the bill, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce would
catalogue Oklahoma businesses that were interested in expanding by
the commercialization of new products.
The department would identify new product opportunities on a
worldwide basis for Oklahoma businesses, and would assist in making
new products available to state businesses. …