Up Close With Pennsylvania’s Top Environmental Official


Law360 (June 18, 2021, 4:12 PM EDT) — Pennsylvania stands to make significant progress toward its goal to cap the thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells in the commonwealth if the Biden administration is successful in convincing Congress to cough up funding in infrastructure legislation.

Patrick McDonnell, the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said there are around 8,000 abandoned or orphaned wells that have been inventoried in the commonwealth but that there could be up to 400,000 total, since the first well was drilled in 1859 and recordkeeping has been spotty.

“It’s an air issue — many of them are leaking methane,” McDonell told Law360….

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