The Department of the Interior today announced final guidance for Tribes on how to apply for the first $50 million in grant funding available under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a total of $4.7 billion to address orphaned wells across the country, including $150 million for Tribal communities over five years. The final guidance is the result of a 60-day nation-to-nation consultation process.
There are several thousand orphaned oil and gas wells on Tribal lands, jeopardizing public health and safety by contaminating groundwater, seeping toxic chemicals, emitting harmful pollutants including methane, and harming wildlife. Some of these wells are underwater, which creates an especially high risk of adverse impacts. So, this is a great start