WASHINGTON, D.C. (WENY) – Senator Chuck Schumer announced $25 million dollars in federal funding to bolster New York State’s efforts to plug, cap, and reclaim orphaned oil and gas wells in Upstate New York.
Schumer said this investment will bolster New York’s ongoing efforts to find and plug these hazardous old gas and oil wells, clean up our environment, protect waters from contamination, and fight climate change, all while creating good-paying jobs.
“Upstate New York, from the Southern Tier and Central New York to Western New York and the Finger Lakes, has been plagued by orphaned oil and gas wells for decades creating hidden hazards that can pollute our backyards, drinking water sources, and communities. Now, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Law that I championed, Upstate New York will receive $25 million in desperately-needed funding to confront these long-standing environmental challenges and plug hundreds of these wells,” said Senator Schumer. “I am proud to deliver this significant federal investment to create good-paying local jobs to fight climate change and ensure that municipalities do not have to take on the full financial burden to clean up the remnants of the fossil fuel industry.”
According to the senator’s office, New York has nearly seven thousand of these abandoned sites from the fossil fuel industry. They are concentrated heavily in the Southern Tier, Western NY, Central NY and the Finger Lakes regions.
These can leak methane and other pollutants posing a serious safety hazard.
In 2020, the DEC and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) launched a new program using state-of-the-art drone and magnetometer technology to map abandoned oil and gas wells.