This abandoned well and pumping mechanism in St. Martin Parish was targeted for removal by the state in 2010.

$25 million is Louisiana share in the well clean up money.

The U.S. Interior Department is giving 24 states, including Louisiana, a total of $560 million to start cleaning high-priority derelict oil and gas wells abandoned on state and private land, the department said Thursday. It said up to 10,000 wells could be dealt with as the government begins allocating $4.7 billion set aside to create an orphan well cleanup program under the bipartisan infrastructure plan approved late last year. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are more than 3 million abandoned oil and gas wells around the nation. The infrastructure law “is enabling us to confront long-standing environmental injustices by making a historic investment to plug orphaned wells throughout the country,” Secretary Deb Haaland said in a news release.

A dozen states will share the money.

A dozen states including Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico and Ohio, have prioritized wells in disadvantaged communities, the department said. Louisiana said it would plug 250 to 900 wells near low-income communities, providing a chance for unemployed energy workers from such areas to learn how to plug orphaned wells and to get work doing so, a separate release said. Most of the states are getting $25 million each to clean wells and measure methane, with 15 using some of the money to enable measurement of the potent greenhouse gas. Arkansas, which has 227 wells on its priority list, and Mississippi, which plans to use part of its grant to inventory orphaned wells, are getting $5 million each.

The planning started in April.

In April, the department announced $33 million to cap and clean up 277 wells on federal land. States have identified anywhere from a dozen to more than 2,000 wells to plug with these initial grants, the department said. “This funding from the bipartisan infrastructure package will create jobs, help state officials address these wells and make Louisiana a cleaner place to live,” U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said at the time of a previous announcement related to the funds in January. “In addition, the land around these wells can be repurposed and lead to an economic boost.” Cassidy was the only Republican member of Louisiana’s congressional delegation to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure law, which he helped negotiate. U.S. Rep. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, also voted for it. The department said states have identified more than 129,000 orphaned wells on state and private land. The total will rise because infrastructure money will allow more records research and field equipment, improve well location techniques, and increase site inspections and data collection nationwide, the department said.

Now we need money to fill in the canals and we will be in better shape.

Louisiana to share in cleaning up derelict wells