ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The United States Department of Interior has awarded New York State $25 million to cap abandoned oil and gas wells.
The funding, announced on Monday, is part of a $1.15 billion investment included in President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to reclaim orphaned wells around the country.
Together, abandoned wells emit greenhouse gases equivalent to 7 to 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. They also pollute natural areas and communities with toxic chemicals that can affect water, air, and soil.
“Methane represents almost 10% of the state’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing it is a key piece of New York’s commitment to confronting the existential threat of climate change head on,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
Since 2013, DEC has plugged more than 400 wells, but thousands of additional wells may continue to emit methane gas into the atmosphere.