Federal law allocates $58.6 million to plug thousands of orphan oil, gas wells in Kansas
The bipartisan federal infrastructure law appropriated $58.6 million to cap more than 5,400 oil and gas wells in Kansas that have been abandoned by owners and threaten water supplies or pose other environmental hazards.
U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, a Democrat serving the Third District in eastern Kansas, said the state had thousands of wells polluting public spaces, recreational areas or private property.
The federal law included aid to deal with an estimated 5,400 orphan wells in Kansas, Davids said. She said the list of defunct wells included 34 in Johnson County and at least 375 in Miami County. In Kansas, 14 well sites are listed as high-priority projects due to urgent threats to public water supplies.
“Abandoned oil and gas wells pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of communities across Kansas, with the vast majority of these sites in the eastern part of our state,” said Davids, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
By Tim Carpenter, Kansas Reflector