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 Save Our Streams Pa .org                                           

Every stream and river in Pennsylvania has exceptional qualities and unique attributes.

Not only are they a source of pride and aesthetic beauty, but more importantly streams provide drinking water for millions of people. Our streams are one of Pennsylvania's most valuable resources.

Pennsylvania streams provide many opportunities for outdoor recreation and enjoyment.

Tourists from around the country travel to Pennsylvania each year to fish our waters.

Pennsylvania is also home to thousands of orphan, abandoned, unplugged and lost oil and gas wells.  Some of these wells were inadequately plugged years ago with pine trees and materials that have deteriorated over time. These wells have the potential to contaminate Pennsylvania's forests, streams, and groundwater.

On Nov. 1st, 2011 Save Our Streams PA kicked off a 'Scavenger Hunt' for locating lost, orphan and abandoned oil and gas wells to promote awareness by photographing and getting GPS locations for these wells and matching the photos with their GPS locations on Google maps that are easily accessible for online viewing.

Orphan, abandoned, unplugged, or improperly-plugged wells may and often do act as a conduit, or pathway, allowing natural gas or other fluids to travel between formations to aquifers or the surface.

Methane, the main component of natural gas is an egregious greenhouse (GH) gas which is known to contribute to climate change.

Experts estimated there may be as many as 760,000 wells drilled in the commonwealth since 1859. The DEP, has records on just over 140,500 wells.

Although many oil and gas wells have been long forgotten and may never cause problems, others are known to cause health, safety, or environmental problems, especially in areas where new development is actively under way.  Homes, buildings, and roads have been constructed near or above abandoned wells. Some wells have been plowed under in farm fields and may never be located.

When new gas wells are drilled, hydraulically fractured, or re-fractured near unplugged wells, the lost, orphan and abandoned wells present an increased risk of gas migration. Deteriorated well bores, unplugged or improperly plugged wells can provide pathways between formation layers, to the aquifer or to the surface.

In McKean County, PA, a home exploded near an active drilling site in the area. Subsequently the DEP

ordered the owner/operator to plug three abandoned wells that were discovered during the investigation into the house explosion. Safety issues arise when lost or abandoned wells are located within close proximity to active drilling.

With the increase in natural gas drilling and horizontal hydro fracturing in north central PA brought about by the Marcellus Shale Gas boom, the risks posed by lost, orphan and abandoned wells are growing.

Our mission is:

To locate, promote awareness, adoption and plugging of lost, abandoned and orphan wells.

To call upon the landowners, industry, developers and our government to recognize the hazards posed by these wells and to plug them adequately.