Resource Jun 22, 2021

Tens of Thousands of Orphaned Wells Threaten National Parks

Orphaned oil wells emit pollution, block wildlife migration, and threaten our climate and parks.

orphaned wells are within 30 miles of a national park site

A new analysis by National Parks Conservation Association and FracTracker Alliance shows that there are 214,538 orphaned wells across the country, 31,737 of which are within 30 miles of a national park site.

Orphaned Wells Near National Parks Interactive Map

Orphaned and idle wells emit methane, deepen the climate crisis, contaminate groundwater, and pose serious public health risks, especially to rural, Tribal and communities of color. The owners and operators of these wells are either out of business or unable to plug and clean up the site – meaning that local communities bear the cost of this pollution.

Legislation now in Congress would clean up orphaned wells and create jobs while addressing the climate crisis and ensuring that communities – and parks – are protected.

Park advocates and community leaders are calling on Congress to support H.R. 2415, the Orphaned Well Cleanup Act; and S.2177, the Oil and Gas Bonding Reform and Orphaned Well Remediation Act.

Read more from NPCA