IIJA - Performance Grant Information

Medium
Performance Grant Information

(5)Performance grants. --


  • (A) Establishment.--The Secretary shall provide to States, in accordance with this paragraph--
    • (i) regulatory improvement grants under subparagraph (E); and
    • (ii) matching grants under subparagraph (F).

  • (B) Application.--To be eligible to receive a grant under this paragraph, a State shall submit to the Secretary an application including--
    • (i) each element described in an application for a grant under paragraph (4)(B);
    • (ii) activities carried out by the State to address orphaned wells located in the State, including--
      • (I) increasing State spending on well plugging, remediation, and reclamation; or
      • (II) improving regulation of oil and gas wells; and
    • (iii) the means by which the State will use funds provided under this paragraph--
      • (I) to lower unemployment in the State; and
      • (II) to improve economic conditions in economically distressed areas of the State.

  • (C) Distribution.--Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall distribute funds to a State under this paragraph by not later than the date that is 60 days after the date on which the State submits to the Secretary a completed application under subparagraph (B).

  • (D) Consultation.--In making a determination under this paragraph regarding the eligibility of a State to receive a grant under subparagraph (E) or (F), the Secretary shall consult with--
    • (i) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;
    • (ii) the Secretary of Energy; and
    • (iii) the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

  • (E) Regulatory improvement grants.--
    • (i) In general.--Beginning on the date that is 180 days after the date on which an initial grant is provided to a State under paragraph (3), the Secretary shall, subject to the availability of appropriations, provide to the State a regulatory improvement grant under this subparagraph, if the State meets, during the 10-year period ending on the date on which the State submits to the Secretary an application under subparagraph (B), 1 of the following criteria:
      • (I) The State has strengthened plugging standards and procedures designed to ensure that wells located in the State are plugged in an effective manner that protects groundwater and other natural resources, public health and safety, and the environment.
      • (II) The State has made improvements to State programs designed to reduce future orphaned well burdens, such as financial assurance reform, alternative funding mechanisms for orphaned well programs, and reforms to programs relating to well transfer or temporary abandonment.
    • (ii) Limitations.—
      • (I) Number.--The Secretary may issue to a State under this subparagraph not more than 1 grant for each criterion described in subclause (I) or (II) of clause (i).
      • (II) Maximum amount.--The amount of a single grant provided to a State under this subparagraph shall be not more than $20,000,000.
    • (iii) Reimbursement for failure to maintain protections.-- A State that receives a grant under this subparagraph shall reimburse the Secretary in an amount equal to the amount of the grant in any case in which, during the 10-year period beginning on the date of receipt of the grant, the State enacts a law or regulation that, if in effect on the date of submission of the application under subparagraph  (B), would have prevented the State from being eligible to receive the grant under clause (i).

  • (F) Matching grants.--
    • (i) In general. Beginning on the date that is 180 days after the date on which an initial grant is provided to a State under paragraph (3), the Secretary shall, subject to the availability of appropriations, provide to the State funding, in an amount equal to the difference between--
      • (I) the average annual amount expended by the State during the period of fiscal years 2010 through 2019--
        • (aa) to plug, remediate, and reclaim orphaned wells; and
        • (bb) to decommission or remove associated pipelines, facilities, or infrastructure; and
      • (II) the amount that the State certifies to the Secretary the State will expend, during the fiscal year in which the State will receive the grant under this subparagraph--
        • (aa) to plug, remediate, and reclaim orphaned wells;
        • (bb) to remediate or reclaim adjacent land; and
        • (cc) to decommission or remove associated pipelines, facilities, and infrastructure.
    • (ii) Limitations.--
      • (I) Fiscal year.--The Secretary may issue to a State under this subparagraph not more than 1 grant for each fiscal year.
      • (II) Total funds provided.--The Secretary may provide to a State under this subparagraph a total amount equal to not more than $30,000,000 during the period of fiscal years 2022 through 2031.
General Information for State Programs
  • (c) Funding for State Programs.--

    • (1) In general.--The Secretary shall provide to States, in accordance with this subsection—

      • (A) initial grants under paragraph (3);

      • (B) formula grants under paragraph (4); and

      • (C) performance grants under paragraph (5).

    • (2) Activities.—

      • (A) In general.--A State may use funding provided under this subsection for any of the following purposes:

        • (i) To plug, remediate, and reclaim orphaned wells located on State-owned or privately owned land.

        • (ii) To identify and characterize undocumented orphaned wells on State and private land.

        • (iii) To rank orphaned wells based on factors including—

          • (I) public health and safety;

          • (II) potential environmental harm; and

          • (III) other land use priorities.

        • (iv) To make information regarding the use of funds received under this subsection available on a public website.

        • (v) To measure and track—

          • (I) emissions of methane and other gases associated with orphaned wells; and

          • (II) contamination of groundwater or surface water associated with orphaned wells.

        • (vi) To remediate soil and restore native species habitat that has been degraded due to the presence of orphaned wells and associated pipelines, facilities, and infrastructure.

        • (vii) To remediate land adjacent to orphaned wells and decommission or remove associated pipelines, facilities, and infrastructure.

        • (viii) To identify and address any disproportionate burden of adverse human health or environmental effects of orphaned wells on communities of color, low-income communities, and Tribal and indigenous communities.

        • (ix) Subject to subparagraph (B), to administer a program to carry out any activities described in clauses (i) through (viii)

      • (B) Administrative cost limitation.—

        • (i) In general.--Except as provided in clause (ii), a State shall not use more than 10 percent of the funds received under this subsection during a fiscal year for administrative costs under subparagraph (A)(ix).

        • (ii) Exception.--The limitation under clause (i) shall not apply to funds used by a State as described in paragraph (3)(A)(ii).


  • (d) [DMR NOTE: Information not applicable to state applications - see last tab for full bill text]

  • (e) Technical Assistance.--The Secretary of Energy, in cooperation with the Secretary and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, shall provide technical assistance to the Federal land management agencies and oil and gas producing States and Indian Tribes to support practical and economical remedies for environmental problems caused by orphaned wells on Federal land, Tribal land, and State and private land, including the sharing of best practices in the management of oil and gas well inventories to ensure the availability of funds to plug, remediate, and restore oil and gas well sites on cessation of operation.

  • (f) Report to Congress.-- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and not less frequently than annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the  Committees on Appropriations and Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and Natural Resources of the House of Representatives a report describing the program established and grants awarded under this section, including—
    • (1) an updated inventory of wells located on Federal land, Tribal land, and State and private land that are—
      • (A) orphaned wells; or
      • (B) at risk of becoming orphaned wells;
    • (2) an estimate of the quantities of--
      • (A) methane and other gasses emitted from orphaned wells; and
      • (B) emissions reduced as a result of plugging, remediating, and reclaiming orphaned wells;
    • (3) the number of jobs created and saved through the plugging, remediation, and reclamation of orphaned wells; and
    • (4) the acreage of habitat restored using grants awarded to plug, remediate, and reclaim orphaned wells and to remediate or reclaim adjacent land, together with a description of the purposes for which that land is likely to be used in the future.

  • (g) Effect of Section. --
    • (1) No expansion of liability.--Nothing in this section establishes or expands the responsibility or liability of any entity with respect to--
      • (A) plugging any well; or
      • (B) remediating or reclaiming any well site.
    • (2) Tribal land.--Nothing in this section--
      • (A) relieves the Secretary of any obligation under section 3 of the Act of May 11, 1938 (25 U.S.C. 396c; 52 Stat. 348, chapter 198), to plug, remediate, or reclaim an orphaned well located on Tribal land; or
      • (B) absolves the United States from a responsibility to plug, remediate, or reclaim an orphaned well located on Tribal land or any other responsibility to an Indian Tribe, including any responsibility that derives from--
        • (i) the trust relationship between the United States and Indian Tribes;
        • (ii) any treaty, law, or Executive order; or
        • (iii) any agreement between the United States and an Indian Tribe.
    • (3) Owner or operator not absolved.--Nothing in this section absolves the owner or operator of an oil or gas well of any potential liability for--
      • (A) reimbursement of any plugging or reclamation costs associated with the well; or
      • (B) any adverse effect of the well on the environment.

  • (h) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2022, to remain available until September 30, 2030:
    • (1) to the Secretary--
      • (A) $250,000,000 to carry out the program under subsection (b);
      • (B) $775,000,000 to provide grants under subsection (c)(3);
      • (C) $2,000,000,000 to provide grants under subsection (c)(4);
      • (D) $1,500,000,000 to provide grants under subsection (c)(5); and
      • (E) $150,000,000 to carry out the program under subsection (d);
    • (2) to the Secretary of Energy, $30,000,000 to conduct research and development activities in cooperation with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission to assist the Federal land management agencies, States, and Indian Tribes in—
      • (A) identifying and characterizing undocumented orphaned wells; and
      • (B) mitigating the environmental risks of undocumented orphaned wells; and
    • (3) to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, $2,000,000 to carry out this section.''.
Definitions
  • (a) Definitions.-- In this section:

    • (1) Federal land.--The term `Federal land' means land administered by a land management agency within

      • (A) the Department of Agriculture; or

      • (B) the Department of the Interior.

    • (2) Idled well.--The term `idled well' means a well

      • (A) that has been nonoperational for not fewer than 4 years; and

      • (B) for which there is no anticipated beneficial future use.

    • (3) Indian tribe.--The term `Indian Tribe' has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304).

    • (4) Operator.--The term `operator', with respect to an oil or gas operation, means any entity, including a lessee or operating rights owner, that has provided to a relevant authority a written statement that the entity is responsible for the oil or gas operation, or any portion of the operation.

    • (5) Orphaned well.--The term `orphaned well'

      • (A) with respect to Federal land or Tribal land, means a well

        • (i)(I) that is not used for an authorized purpose, such as production, injection, or monitoring; and

        • (II)

          • (aa) for which no operator can be located;

          • (bb) the operator of which is unable

            • (AA) to plug the well; and

            • (BB) to remediate and reclaim the well site; or

          • (cc) that is within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska; and

      • (B) with respect to State or private land

        • (i) has the meaning given the term by the applicable State; or

        • (ii) if that State uses different terminology, has the meaning given another term used by the State to describe a well eligible for plugging, remediation, and reclamation by the State.

    • (6) Tribal land.--The term `Tribal land' means any land or interest in land owned by an Indian Tribe, the title to which is—

      • (A) held in trust by the United States; or

      • (B) subject to a restriction against alienation under Federal law

Full Bill Text

Section 40601: Orphaned Well Site Plugging, Remediation, and Restoration, Title VI: Methane Reduction Infrastructure, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, H.R. 3684, 117th Congress (2021) (https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3684/text)