Ohio to Receive $256M to Clean Up Abandoned Wells
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of the Interior will earmark up to more than $256 million over five years to help Ohio clean abandoned oil and gas wells across the state.
Under the plan, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which oversees oil and gas policy in the state, would receive $84.4 million in immediate funding.
The rest would be appropriated over a five-year period.
“Cleaning up these abandoned wells will create good-paying jobs across Ohio, making our communities safer and healthier,” Brown said in a statement.
The funding was made possible through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, one of the Biden Administration’s signature pieces of legislation that was passed last year. The law set aside $4.7 billion in funding to help communities clean and plug these wells.
Abandoned wells, also known as “orphaned” wells, have for too long posed serious health threats, and this measure will help mitigate those environmental and public health risks, Ryan said.
“For too long, abandoned oil and gas wells have posed serious threats to the health and well-being of Ohioans, particularly those in our most underserved communities,” Ryan said. “This investment is a major win for our environment, our economy and our families.”
Nearly 81,000 abandoned well sites across the country – 891 of them in Ohio — emit methane gas and leak toxic pollution, Ryan’s office said. More than nine million Americans live within one mile of these sites, according to the congressman’s office.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.