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55-1,120. Same; salt solution mining wells; abandonment, legal responsibility for. (a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Person legally responsible" includes, but is not limited to: (A) Any current or former operator of the well, or successor, who has: (i) Knowingly abandoned the well; (ii) caused the pollution or hazard, or threat of pollution or hazard, by intentionally altering or tampering with the well; or (iii) assumed legal responsibility by written agreement or contract; and (B) any current or former owner of the well who is or was in the business of producing salt.

(2) "Salt solution mining well" means a well which has been drilled into subsurface saline or salt bearing deposits for the recovery of either existing brines or brines which are formed by the injection of water to dissolve such deposits.

(3) A salt solution mining well shall be deemed abandoned if no person is legally responsible for causing the pollution or hazard, or threat of pollution or hazard, or if the person legally responsible is dead, is no longer in existence, is adjudicated to be insolvent or cannot be found.

(b) If the secretary finds that the location or construction, or both, of an abandoned salt solution mining well causes or threatens to cause pollution of the land, air or waters of the state or is or threatens to become a hazard to persons, property or public health or safety, the secretary may, in addition to any other remedy provided by law:

(1) After completion of an investigation: (A) Order any person who is legally responsible for causing the pollution or hazard, or threat of pollution or hazard, to take such remedial action as will remove the pollution or hazard, or threat of pollution or hazard, including, but not limited to, plugging such well; or (B) as funds are available, provide for the plugging of the well and order assessment of the costs to the legally responsible person; or

(2) after completion of an investigation and as funds are available, provide for the plugging of the well, if abandoned, in a manner that remediates the pollution or hazard, whether threatened or actual.

History: L. 2001, ch. 191, ยง 12; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Attention Kansas Water Right Holders: Be Nice to Your Neighbors, They're Policing Your Water Rights [Hawley v. Kansas Dep't of Agric., 132 P.3d 870 (Kan. 2005)]," Tyler A. Darnell, 46 W.L.J. 429 (2007).


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