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RULE §76.72Responsibilities of the Licensee and Landowner--Well Drilling, Completion, Capping and Plugging

(a) All well drillers, installers and persons having a well drilled, deepened or altered, and persons in possession of abandoned or deteriorated wells, shall adhere to the provisions of the Code and this chapter prescribing the location of wells and proper drilling, completion, capping, repairing and plugging.

(b) A licensed driller shall ensure that when injurious water or constituents are knowingly encountered, the well is plugged or is converted into a properly completed monitoring well as defined in §76.10(35), and under the standards set forth in §76.104.

(c) A driller must comply with applicable requirements of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rules under 30 TAC Chapter 331, if injurious water or constituents are encountered while drilling a Class V Injection well.

(d) If a landowner, or person having the well drilled, deepened or altered refuses to allow a licensed driller or installer access to the well which requires plugging, capping, repairing or completion or otherwise precludes the driller or installer from plugging, capping, repairing or completing a well where injurious constituents or water have been encountered, the driller shall, within forty-eight (48) hours of the refusal, file a signed statement to that effect with the department and provide a copy of the statement to the local groundwater conservation district. The statement shall indicate that:

  (1) the driller, installer or person under his supervision, encountered injurious water or constituents while drilling the well;

  (2) the driller or installer has informed the person having the well drilled, deepened or otherwise altered that injurious water or constituents were encountered and that the well must be plugged or completed pursuant to Texas Occupations Code, §1901.254 or §1902.253, and this chapter;

  (3) the person or landowner having the well drilled, deepened or altered has denied the driller or installer access to the well;

  (4) the reason, if known, for which access has been denied; and

  (5) if known, whether the person having the well drilled, deepened or otherwise altered intends to have the well plugged or completed.

(e) A deteriorated well must be plugged. An abandoned well must be either capped or plugged. If a landowner or person who possesses an abandoned or deteriorated well fails to have the well plugged or capped under standards and procedures adopted by the commission within one hundred eighty (180) days from learning of its condition, the department shall notify the local groundwater conservation district and the department may initiate a contested case against the landowner or person for a violation of Texas Occupations Code, §1901.255.

(f) It is the responsibility of a landowner or person in possession of a well that is open at the surface, to have the well capped under standards set forth in §76.104, unless subsection (g) of this section applies.

(g) The driller of a newly-drilled well shall place a cover or cap which is not easily removed over the boring or casing if the well is intended to be left unattended without a pump installed. It shall be the responsibility of the pump installer to place a cap over the casing which is not easily removable if the well is intended to be left unattended with the pump removed.

Source Note: The provisions of this §76.72 adopted to be effective March 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 1142; amended to be effective September 15, 2014, 39 TexReg 7090; amended to be effective April 1, 2018, 43 TexReg 1635

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