Manchin Announces $5.1M to Remediate, Reclaim Orphaned Oil and Gas Well Sites at Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge

March 1, 2024

Charleston, WV — Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced a $5,100,000 investment from the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to plug, remediate and reclaim six orphaned oil and gas well sites in the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Williamstown, West Virginia. This funding is made possible by Chairman Manchin’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

“West Virginia is America’s energy powerhouse, and our state still carries the scars of those sacrifices we’ve made to power our nation. These funds will help to ensure that a beautiful piece of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia will be clean and safe for visitors from across the country while creating good paying jobs and growing our economy. I am proud that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to help our state remain America’s outdoor playground,” said Chairman Manchin.

Senator Manchin secured $4.6 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to plug, remediate and reclaim orphaned wells on tribal, federal, state, and private lands via grants to be awarded to the States, Tribes 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.

To learn more from the U.S. Department of the Interior, click here.