Feds make $127 million available to clean legacy pollution sites

June 28, 2024

The Department of the Interior (DOI) is making $126.7 million available to help clean up legacy pollution in Arizona, Alaska, Indiana, New York and Ohio. The funds come from $660 million in rolling formula grant funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

Orphaned oil and gas wells are types of legacy pollutants that pose serious health and safety threats to surrounding communities. They contaminate surface and groundwater, release toxic air pollutants and leak methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas that significantly contributes to climate change.

For this round of formula grants, Ohio will receive $57.75 million, and Alaska and New York will each receive $25 million. Indiana was awarded $14.08 million, and Arizona was awarded $4.87 million. This round of awards will help plug over 600 orphaned wells as well as create inventories of undocumented contamination sites.

“Millions of Americans live within a mile of an orphaned oil and gas well. With this historic funding, we are empowering the states of Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, New York and Ohio to begin to turn the tide on these environmental hazards that are harming our communities, lands, waters and air,” Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement.   

Since 2022, the DOI has awarded $565 million in initial grant funding to 25 states, including $25 million to each of these five states. States will use the awards to detect methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells, prioritizing cleanup in overburdened and disadvantaged communities. States can still access $775 million from initial grants, $2 billion from formula grants and $1.5 billion in performance grants under the BIL.

Photo courtesy of the DOI

Gracie Warhurst

Gracie Warhurst has joined Strategic Partnerships, Inc. as a writer and digital content creator for the new Government Market News portal. With a rich background in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Warhurst has experience as editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, assistant web editor, and project manager for an AI journalism project. She also contributed as a reporter during the development of SPI's news portal. Warhurst graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a certificate in creative writing, making her a valuable asset to the SPI team.

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