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Friday, May 31, 2013

Group Finds 2 Abandoned Oil Wells In Shinglehouse Watershed

Local Success Story In Abandoned Well Mission

abandonedwellA local success story in the state’s endless mission to locate and cap abandoned gas and oil wells was shared at the recent Triple Divide Watershed Coalition meeting. Two “orphaned” wells were found in the Shinglehouse Municipal Water System recharge area, threatening the public water supply. Officials contacted the Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), which operates a program to retire abandoned wells in instances where responsibility cannot be established. DEP assessed the site, researched ownership records and assigned a high priority to the Shinglehouse wells.

“The orphaned well program has delivered,” coalition chairman John McLaughlin said. “Operators should walk their recharge areas, and if they find an abandoned or orphaned well they can get it addressed.” Work on the Shinglehouse wells is expected to begin as soon as August.

DEP acknowledges that there are tens of thousands of abandoned wells in Pennsylvania. Only about 2,900 have been plugged. DEP is collecting maps and other relevant documents to create a more comprehensive database as the agency addresses the wells on a case by case basis, with limited funds and personnel.


Anonymous said...

These wells were turned in to DEP. and inspected by DEP almost 5 years ago after a flood that sent crude oil down the oswayo river.
The triple divide had nothing to do with it...

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected 4 years ago show's up on DEP report as abandoned well 4676 jan. 12 2010 do not seem to be in any hurry...

Anonymous said...

No idea what happened 4 years ago but these wells were reported a couple months ago by Shawn Metcalf from the Shinglehouse Water Authority and by the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition. In response to that report, DEP took action. That came right after the Triple Divide organization sent letters to the legislature and DEP urging the state to give a priority to abandoned or orphaned wells located within a delineated water recharge area (i.e., designated watershed supplying a public water system). That is what happened here. Not disputing your history lesson telling the tale of DEP adding those wells to the list of a few thousand that needed attention. But after they got lost in the pile with all of the others, the Shinglehouse Water Authority and the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition stepped in and forced the action.

Anonymous said...

I wish they would worry as much about soil being washed into streams from plowing, and the amount of herbicides being washed into the streams.

Anonymous said...

there are abandoned wells throughout the shinglehouse area. there are six on the road I live on.

Anonymous said...

let the ng indrustry pay cost !

why should the tax payers pay ?