Published On: September 7th, 2023

Buffalo Creek Watershed Association Presents

Presentation on Lost Orphan and Abandoned Wells to be held on September 7, 2023 from 6:00-7:30 PM at  the Washington County Conservation District Office, 50 Old Hickory Ridge Rd, Washington, PA 15301

Laurie Barr, is a citizen scientist who has spent the last decade hunting for orphaned and abandoned conventional wells and researching stream health in Pennsylvania as part of

Save Our Streams PA.

Laurie’s work has been used by state and federal regulators, oil and gas well plugging companies, a slew of reporters, and has led to breaking, influential studies on the link between abandoned wells and methane emissions.

Her reporting to officials has led to changes in regulatory policy and administrative practice, helped residents finally get wells which had been leaking for 20 years or more plugged (sometimes twice), influenced legislative agendas, and inspired academic study in the too-often neglected and economically depressed northern tier of Pennsylvania, as well as the southern tier of New York.

She will discuss the state of the massive legacy issue of well abandonment and the management of federal funds the state has recently received to plug priority orphan wells.

A key point Laurie’s presentation will touch on, is the critical need to locate and identify many of the lost, orphaned abandoned oil and gas wells drilled in PA since 1859, many of which have no documentation. All are invited.

A field trip to visit abandoned oil/gas wells will be conducted on Friday, September 8 within the county. Locations and time to be announced during the Thursday presentation. Participants will learn how to report these wells to the DEP.

Sponsored by the Buffalo Creek Watershed Association

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