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Arizona to receive millions in infrastructure funds to cap "orphan" gas and oil wells

Oil Well
AP Photo/Eric Gay, File
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A wildflower blows in the wind near an old pump jack on Molly Rooke's ranch, Tuesday, May 18, 2021, near Refugio, Texas. Oil and gas drilling began on the ranch in the 1920s and there were dozens of orphaned wells that needed to be plugged for safety and environmental protection.

The federal government will allocate $25 million to cap so-called orphan wells in Arizona.

The funding from last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law will reclaim nearly 250 abandoned oil and gas wells throughout the state and help with the cleanup of 20 sites near sources of drinking water. They’ll be monitored for five years.

In addition, the funding will also go toward methane monitoring to identify emission concentrations and confirm the effectiveness of the well plugs. In all, the law invested more than $4.5 billion to remediate orphan well sites across the country.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act became law in November, 2021.