June 08, 2023

Manchin Announces Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding to Clean up Orphaned Oil and Gas Well Sites in West Virginia

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $4,275,000 from the Department of Interior (DOI) for plugging and remediating orphaned oil and gas well sites located in the Monongahela National Forest and Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge. This funding was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will reduce methane emissions, clean up the environment and help reinvigorate communities across West Virginia impacted by orphaned oil and gas wells.

“For decades, West Virginians powered our nation to greatness, but our state still carries the scars of those sacrifices,” said Senator Manchin. “Plugging and remediating the wells will help ensure the Monongahela National Forest and Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge are safe for people across the country to visit the Mountain State, growing our local economy and creating good-paying jobs. As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will continue advocating for resources to ensure communities across the Mountain State can rebuild and succeed once again.”

Senator Manchin secured $4.6 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to plug, remediate and reclaim orphaned wells via grants to the States and new federal programs. In West Virginia, these grants will help the State’s Department of Environmental Protection to ensure that state and local priorities are addressed while employing local oil and gas workers. There are at least 4,646 documented orphan wells in West Virginia alone that will be eligible for funding under this initiative. These wells jeopardize public health and safety by contaminating groundwater, seeping toxic chemicals, emitting harmful pollutants including methane, and harming wildlife. In addition to creating good-paying jobs and addressing pollution, these investments create safer and more inhabitable communities and drive new economic opportunities.

Individual awards listed below:

  • $3,100,000– Monongahela National Forest 
  • $1,175,000– Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge