The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 005 : PERMITS, REPORTS AND NOTICES(Cite as: 29 V.S.A. § 544)
§ 544. Abandonment of wells
(a) Prior to the abandonment of any well drilled under a permit issued by the Board, it shall be the duty of the owner or operator of the well to plug it so as to completely shut off and prevent the escape of all oil, gas, salt water, or other substances that might pollute ground or surface waters.
(b) The operator of the well shall notify the Board in writing of his or her intention to plug and abandon, identifying the well and fixing the time when the work of plugging the well will be commenced so that a representative of the Board may be present.
(c) When plugging and restoration and reclamation of the drill site have been completed, a certificate of abandonment shall be filed in a form and manner prescribed by the Board.
(d) If a person fails to produce and sell, or to produce for his or her own purposes, oil or gas from a completed well for a period of more than 24 months, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person intends to abandon the well and any well equipment situated on the premises. However, this presumption shall not arise:
(1) concerning leases for gas storage purposes; or
(2) where any shut-in royalty, flat rate well rental, delay rental, or other similar payment designed to keep an oil and gas lease in effect or to extend its term has been paid or tendered; or
(3) where the failure to produce and sell is the result of any act of neglect of a third party beyond the control of the owner or operator of the well; or
(4) when a delay in excess of 24 months occurs because of any inability to sell, deliver, or otherwise tender any oil or gas product. (Added 1981, No. 240 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 28, 1982.)