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Financial incentives for remining and adopting orphaned wells

Source: Bureau of District Mining Operations

To make remining and adoption of orphan wells more attractive by providing financial incentives for industry

Summary: Neither the Commonwealth nor the federal government has the resources available to accomplish the massive reclamation effort required in Pennsylvania. In order to accomplish this task, it is imperative that government enlists the assistance of the mining and oil and gas industries. Industry has the equipment, the manpower and the expertise to remediate environmental problems more quickly and at a lower cost than any governmental agency.

Therefore, it is necessary to offer financial incentives to the coal industry to reclaim lands previously affected by mining and to the oil and gas industry to remediate problem oil and gas wells. Without financial incentives, these problems would not likely be addressed, and the Commonwealth would ultimately be responsible for the cost of reclamation or remediation.

Incentives being evaluated for development as proposed legislation:

  • Per acre state income tax credit for abandoned mine reclamation through remining; and
  • Per well income tax credit for sealing abandoned oil and gas wells.

Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board, watershed and environmental groups, Office of Surface Mining (OSM), coal and oil and gas industry, Pennsylvania Coal Association and other industry groups, property owners and the Western and Eastern Pennsylvania Coalitions for Abandoned Mine Reclamation.

Reclamation and remediation by private industry and others will increase. The benefits vary by proposal.

Costs vary by proposal. However, in each case the benefit of reduced remediation costs to the Commonwealth exceeds the cost in reduced tax revenue. Moderate staff resources are needed to further develop and evaluate proposals.


Initial proposals have been identified and draft legislation is being developed.


Donald Barnes Bureau of District Mining Operations 814-472-1900

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