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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 1999

Governor Awards $109,837 To Plug Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today awarded $109,837 from Fiscal Year 1999 budget allocations to 12 landowners to expedite the plugging of 36 abandoned oil and gas wells in Illinois.

"Abandoned oil and gas wells pose a safety and environmental threat to people throughout downstate Illinois," Ryan said. "Through Illinois FIRST, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be able to expand this program and others to make sure that dangerous wells are properly plugged."

Governor Ryan's Illinois FIRST program will dedicate up to $10 million for grants to plug abandoned wells. There are more than 5,000 abandoned wells in the state. These abandoned, or "orphaned" wells often disrupt agricultural activities, pose an environmental threat to surface and groundwater or, in some cases, present a public safety hazard.

The grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The grants reimburse landowners after the wells are plugged. IDNR inspectors are on site to ensure the work is done in accordance with state law.

This is the third year of the landowner grant program, which has provided nearly $330,000 in grants to plug 124 wells. Well eligibility information and additional details about the program are available by contacting Duane Pulliam, Landowner Grant Program Coordinator, IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals, 524 South Second St., Springfield, IL 62701-1787, phone 217/782-7756.

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LANDOWNER GRANT AWARDS

Landowner # of wellsGrant Amount
Clarence Sachet
Hutsonville (Crawford)
5$15,525
Brad Schutte
Robinson (Crawford)
5$16,120
Ronald Taylor
Clay City (Clay)
1 $3,000
Michael D. Podolsky
Fairfield (Wayne)
1$3,510
Vernance Heyduck
Centralia (Marion)
2 $5,000
Joe West
Carmi (White)
1 $6,036
Wanda Donner
Robinson (Crawford)
5$19,515
Howard L. Daniels
Macomb (McDonough)
5 $6,749
Michael D. Ryan
Mattoon (Coles)
4 $14,000
Kenneth & Connie Beckman
Bartelso (Washington)
1 $2,700
Ben Buchanan
Lawrenceville (Lawrence)
5$14,592
Mike Murray
Robinson (Crawford)
1 $3,090
Total = 12$109,837


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