Seeking to clean up orphan oil and gas wells and create well-paid union jobs, U.S. Democratic Senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman announced more than $5.5 million for the Orphaned Wells Program from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Funding for the program will be used to plug 48 old wells in the Allegheny National Forest. Pennsylvania has more than 8,000 documented abandoned wells, and millions of Americans live within a mile of an old or orphaned well.
The $5,527,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is bolstered by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Act is designed to create good-paying, union jobs through economic growth while also protecting national resources.
Casey said that methane emissions from orphan wells have for too long polluted Pennsylvania’s air and water and endangered the Allegheny National Forest.
“Thanks to the infrastructure law, Pennsylvania can not only clean up these environmental hazards but stimulate the region’s economy by creating good-paying jobs,” Casey said in a statement.
Fetterman said funding for the program will help Pennsylvania residents have clean air and clean water.
“The Allegheny National Forest is a Pennsylvania treasure, and I am proud that this investment, in large part from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, will help keep it that way,” said Fetterman.
Created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Orphaned Wells Program addresses pollution caused by methane emissions and water contamination. The program is part of a strategy to make certain that future generations have clean air and water, while also addressing employment challenges in energy communities.