Landowner Grant Program
What is the Landowner Grant Program?
The Landowner Grant Program is dedicated to plugging abandoned wells on private property in Illinois. This cooperative effort between the Department and private property owners increases the number of abandoned wells plugged each year and helps individuals return their property to its original use.
How is a well Eligible for a Grant?
Only those wells declared abandoned by an administrative order issued by the Department are eligible for the landowner grant program. To find out if a well on your property is eligible for a landowner grant, contact the District Office where the well is located or view the list of eligible wells maintained on this site.
Who is Eligible for A Grant?
The owner of the land on which the well is located is the only person eligible to receive a grant under this program. If the landowner is also the permittee of the well, that person is not eligible for a grant.
The grant program is funded annually on a state fiscal year basis. Grant applications for an upcoming fiscal year may be submitted to the Office's main office in Springfield after April 1 of each year. Upon receipt of a grant application, the Department will determine if the application meets all program requirements. The application can be found here. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat to download this document.
Plugging the Well
Grants will be awarded after July 1 of each year. Please note that this program is a reimbursement program, the Department cannot send funds to the landowner until the work is completed. Well plugging activities shall be commenced within 120 days and be completed within 180 days of the grant approval (weather permitting).
For more information, please contact the Office of Oil and Gas Resource Management at (217) 782-7756.
The Plugging and Restoration Fund Program ("PRF)
The PRF is a program created by law that authorizes the Division of Oil & Gas to plug abandoned and leaking wells. The PRF Program was created in 1991 and is funded through fees and forfeited bonds.
How does a well qualify for the PRF Program?
In order for a well to qualify for plugging through the PRF Program, the Division of Oil & Gas must make a finding that the well constitutes an emergency, or make a finding that the well meets the definition for an "orphan" or "abandoned" well. There are over 4,500 wells in Illinois covered by the PRF Program. The Division has funds to plug approximately 500 wells annually. If you would like more information on the PRF Program, please contact the PRF Program Manager.
Plugging" a well means filling it with cement so that fluids can no longer enter or escape from the well. Visit the photo gallery if you would like to see a "before" and "after" photo of a well plugged through the PRF Program.
Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program
When oil is brought up from beneath the surface of the earth, saltwater is mixed in with the oil. The saltwater must be removed and properly disposed. This is done by placing the saltwater into another type of well called a "Class II injection well" that puts the saltwater back beneath the surface of the earth into an appropriate geologic formation.
In order to protect the environment and our drinking water, it is very important that Class II injection wells be properly constructed and operated. The Division of Oil & Gas requires that anyone who wants to construct and operate a Class II injection well must first meet rigorous technical requirements and obtain a permit for that activity from the Division. This program is called the Underground Injection Control Program ("UIC Program"). The Division of Oil & Gas is authorized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to implement the UIC Program for Class II injection wells in Illinois.
In order to protect the environment and our drinking water, it is very important that Class II injection wells be properly constructed and operated.