On May 6, 2012, a deer drank from a pool of water above an abandoned gas well in the Allegheny National Forrest. Deer drinking from a puddle, that’s nothing new. All I know is, I would never want my little doe drinking that poison!
A Leaking Gas Well In The Allegheny National Forest
Saveourstreamspa.org uploaded this short, eye-opening video: “The Allegheny National Forest is plagued with abandoned, wells that have been left behind, unplugged by oil and gas operators. Not only are many of these wells spewing methane into the atmosphere, but fluids are being released from these wells and are being consumed by game and wildlife.“
Too Many Orphans
Save Our Streams states on its homepage that “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 the drinking water for millions of people. Our streams are one of Pennsylvania’s most valuable resources… Orphan, abandoned, unplugged, or improperly-plugged wells may and often do act as a conduit, or pathway, allowing methane or other fluids to travel between formations to aquifers or the surface. These wells have the potential to contaminate Pennsylvania’s forests, streams, groundwater and affect climate change.”
Join the Scavenger Hunt For Abandoned Wells
Like Geocaching for a cause… If you’re out hiking and you come across an abandoned well, snap a pic and email the photo and GPS coordinates to: scavengerhuntpa.google.com. Better still, join the search for abandoned wells in Pennsylvania at scavengerhuntpa.tripod.com.
There are pages of photos that well-hunters have posted on SmugMug.com to give you a good idea of what an abandoned well might look like, and you can find the current map of abandoned wells discovered thus far for clues to locations. Thing is, you never know, so do take care. The hunt will end when every abandoned well is properly plugged in Pennsylvania.