Manchin Announces $29.2M to Plug Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells in West Virginia

May 14, 2024

Washington, DC — Today, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced that West Virginia will receive $29.2 million through the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to plug approximately 200 orphaned oil and gas wells. This funding is made possible by Chairman Manchin’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

“I am so proud that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to deliver for West Virginia. This funding builds on the work that has already been done to plug 123 orphaned wells in West Virginia and will help continue to bring good paying jobs and new economic opportunity to our state while keeping West Virginia Wild and Wonderful,” 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.