GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The state will take over 20 nonproducing oil wells in Ottawa County after the wells’ owner failed to plug them and clean up the sites, according to the Michigan Department of Attorney General.
The AG’s office said it sued Fisher McCall Oil & Gas last year on behalf of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy for violating the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, which requires owners to plug any well that does not produce oil in 12 months and clean up the well site.
Fisher McCall failed to do so for 21 wells, the AG’s office said, which led to oil being released at two of its sites — including into a lake in Ottawa County’s Bend Area park.
A settlement was reached Aug. 4, according to a Thursday release from the Department of Attorney General. Under the settlement, Fisher McCall will turn over its wells and permits to EGLE. It will also pay $2.1 million to plug the wells, as well as hundreds of thousands more in fines and remediation costs.
Twenty of the 21 wells are in Ottawa County, in Tallmadge and Georgetown townships, the AG’s office said. The last well is in Ingham County.