A recent report from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection found well operators routinely fail to plug wells as required – thus creating many orphaned wells in the Commonwealth. State officials estimate there are roughly 200,000 abandoned wells in Pennsylvania, though an analysis of methane emissions found the number could be as high as 750,000. While abandoned wells pose many safety issues, including environmental contamination and sinkholes, their tendency to leak large amounts of methane is one of the state’s biggest concerns.
Pennsylvania could receive as much as $400 million over the next decade to plug abandoned and orphaned wells. For those seeking to purchase property, your best protection is to have an environmental due diligence expert assess the property before your purchase.