Last week, Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Richard Negrin hosted U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on a visit to the state to observe DEP work underway to address orphaned oil and gas wells. With Pennsylvania’s long history in oil and gas drilling, DEP knows of nearly 27,000 orphaned or abandoned wells but estimates there are upwards of 230,000 wells in the state.
DEP has a longstanding program to address these wells, but given limited funding, the state has generally only dealt with a few a year. This story map highlights some of the work program’s work since 2018.
With new funding provided by the Department of Interior under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act/Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DEP has recently begun work to remediate 205 wells. An online project tracker allows interested parties to see well locations and learn about environmental and human health impacts and progress made in addressing these wells.