A Mississauga company has been fined $5,000 for failing to plug a natural gas well.

Great Lakes Resources Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to plug a gas well within 12 months of operation and was fined $5,000.

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The court heard that in October 2007, Great Lakes Resources Ltd. was the operator of a gas well drilled in the Port Dover area of Norfolk County. The drilled well was never put into production.

Under the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act, it is an offence to have a well that is not in use for a period greater than 12 months. Ministry staff tried unsuccessfully to work with the defendant to plug the well. In 2010, Great Lakes Resources Ltd. was issued an order to plug the well, but failed to comply with the order. The company plugged the well before the court date.

Justice of the Peace Norman W. Mulloy heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Simcoe, on March 21, 2013. Gas wells that are drilled and then neglected for long periods of time may pose a threat to the environment and public safety.

The Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act regulates the petroleum industry’s operations in Ontario. The act requires all operators of natural gas wells to plug wells that have not been in production for more than one year.

To report a natural resources violation call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time, or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours.

You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)