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Index > United States of America > Pennsylvania > 11 Abandoned Gas Wells in Erie County

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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

DEP Plugs 11 Abandoned Gas Wells in Erie County

Problem Wells Uncovered During Complaint Investigations

06/23/2010 MEADVILLE -- The Department of Environmental Protection announced today that it successfully eliminated potential pollution and public safety hazards after plugging 11 abandoned gas wells throughout Erie County between December 2009 and March 2010.

“Abandoned oil and gas wells can pollute streams and drinking water supplies and, in some situations, pose explosive dangers to nearby residents and communities,” DEP Northwest Regional Director Kelly Burch said.

“This is a public safety concern, as well as an environmental protection issue and our efforts to seal these wells will ensure that they no longer present a danger to the area’s residents.”

Of the 11 plugged wells, five were in the City of Erie, four in Millcreek Township, one in North East Township, and one in Girard Borough.

Some of the wells were located in densely populated neighborhoods while others were in more rural areas. Many of the plugged wells had been venting gas or were found as a result of gas migration problems.

The plugging contractor, S & T Service & Supply Co., of Pleasantville, Venango County, began work last December and finished on March 30.

The 11 wells were plugged using Pennsylvania’s Orphan Well Plugging Fund at a cost of $137,348.

The plugging program is funded by a surcharge on drilling permits, with as much as $200 from an individual permit fee going to the fund.

Pennsylvania has the greatest number of abandoned wells in the Appalachian region and is one of the top five states nationally.

DEP has documented more than 8,700 wells throughout the state that were abandoned prior to passage of modern oil and gas drilling regulations.

Abandoned wells can be found in many settings from residential backyards to remote hillsides, and well-plugging costs can vary depending on terrain and the age and depth of the well.

 




Media Release: COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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