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PA Water Well Construction Standards Legislation Moving

Water Well Construction Standards Legislation Moving

We wanted to let you know that the House gave second consideration to House Bill 343 today.

  • House Bill 343 (Miller-R) amends Title 27 (Environmental Resources), in conservation and natural resources, providing for water well construction standards. Specifically, the legislation directs the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to adopt the construction and decommissioning standards proposed by the American National Standards Institute/National Ground Water Association.

 House Bill 343 was re-committed to the House Appropriations Committee for a fiscal note.

 A summary of the legislation can be found below.

 Please let me know if you have any questions.

 Thanks,

Erik

 

 

Summary

 

House Bill 343 amends Title 27 (Environmental Resources) to establish minimum standards for water well construction and decommissioning of abandoned wells.

 

Under the bill, all water wells in PA (except those regulated by the PA Safe Drinking Water Act) shall be constructed and decommissioned by a water well driller in accordance with the American National Standards Institute/National Ground Water Association standards to be adopted by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB). 

 

The bill enables DEP to establish and collect reasonable fees from water well drillers for costs associated with administering the standards.  In addition, water wells abandoned after the adoption of the standards shall be decommissioned within one year following abandonment and wells abandoned prior to the effective date shall be decommissioned within two years of the adoption of standards. The legislation further requires that water well drillers provide well completion or decommissioning reports to DCNR, DEP and the water well owner.

 

Counties or municipalities with existing ordinances relating to water well construction or decommissioning standards are exempt from the legislation.  Finally, the bill establishes the following penalties:

 

  • Construction or decommissioning of a well in violation of the standards shall constitute a summary offense, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and, in default, imprisonment for no more than 10 days.

 

  • A person previously convicted of a summary offense under the bill who constructs a water well or causes a water well to be constructed in violation of the standards commits a misdemeanor punishable by fine of not more than $5,000 and, in default, imprisonment for no more than three months.

 

  • Failure to file a water well completion or decommissioning report shall constitute a summary offense punishable by a fine of not more than $250 and, in default, imprisonment for no more than 10 days.

 

 

 

Erik A. Ross

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