Will Bouma
Will Bouma

Ontario Keeping Brant County Safe from Risks Associated with Old Oil and Gas Wells

Province investing $105,000 this year to help municipality manage emergencies.

NEWS June 14, 2024

GEORGE – The Ontario government is investing $105,000 this year to help Brant County better manage the hazards posed by old and inactive oil and gas wells.

The local funding is part of a $2.5 million investment in 2024 to help nine municipalities across southwestern Ontario enhance emergency preparedness.

“We are building on the previous fiscal year’s funding of purchasing equipment and training”, said Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma. “This new funding can go a long way to alleviate concerns that some legacy wells may have created in and around the County of Brant. I am happy to be a part of a government that prioritizes the health and safety of our communities.”

This year’s investment will also allocate a portion of funding to support collaborative projects and partnerships between municipalities that pursue research, public education and outreach campaigns.

“As we enter this next chapter of our action plan to tackle the challenges related to legacy oil and gas wells, I am pleased to see how municipalities are finding new and innovative ways to address risks and enhance local emergency planning”, said Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources. “We understand the significance of this issue in Brant County and across southwestern Ontario and that is why we are continuing to make investments to help keep communities safe.”

In 2023, the province provided nine municipalities with close to $2 million to purchase emergency response equipment, enhance municipal staff health and safety training and increase public education and awareness.

Brant County used last year’s funding to purchase gas monitoring and health and safety equipment and provide health and safety training to staff.

The Ontario government will continue to work alongside municipal partners and actively seek their input to ensure future funding remains adaptable to the needs of communities.

QUICK FACTS

  • This year’s funding is part of a three-year, $7.5 million investment to help communities enhance emergency preparedness and is the next step in the government’s $23.6 million action plan to help protect communities from petroleum-related emergencies.
  • Ontario has records for approximately 27,000 oil and gas wells, primarily on private land in southwestern Ontario.
  • The greatest need for funding is predominantly in rural municipalities in southwestern Ontario where local geology and naturally occurring petroleum resources can pose risks to public health and safety and the environment.
  • The Ministry of Natural Resources administers the Abandoned Works Program, which provides financial assistance to eligible landowners to support the plugging of oil and gas wells that are a high risk to public safety or the natural environment. To date, the province has invested $33 million to plug 440 wells across Ontario.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Ontario Taking Action to Address Risks Posed by Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells

Ontario Continuing Support for Wheatley

Ontario Helping Municipalities Better Manage Risks Posed by Old Oil and Gas Wells

MEDIA CONTACTS

Melissa Candelaria
Minister’s Office
647-448-7652
Melissa.Candelaria@ontario.ca

Media Desk
Communications Services Branch
MediaDesk.MNRF@ontario.ca

ontario.ca/natural-resources-news

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