BLM Continues to Stall Aggressive Cleanup Plan for Legacy Wells
(ANCHORAGE) – Today’s announcement that the federal Bureau of Land Management will only plug one additional Legacy Well this year, as long as it receives funding, is disappointing news to Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Alaska.
“The Legacy Wells will continue to threaten the arctic ecosystem until the BLM bureaucrats back in Washington D.C. decide to make this a priority,” said Rep. Millett. The Alaska BLM office appreciates the seriousness of the problem but can’t get the support it needs from the national office. Until that happens, the environmental damage continues.”
To make matters even worse, now BLM refuses to clean up rusting barrels and other trash scattered across the tundra claiming it’s some another agency’s responsibility. BLM is directly responsible for protecting the reserve. BLM is as much a part of the federal government as any other agency and receives its funding from congress just like all other federal agencies.
Legacy Wells are oil and gas wells drilled by the federal government from 1944-1981. Around 100 of the wells were never properly capped and cleaned up according to Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation standards and are leaking natural gas and covered with trash and other debris.
The Alaska Legislature unanimously passed HJR 29 this year which urges BLM to live up to its mission statement by plugging the wells and removing the trash. The sites threaten fish, wildlife, ground water and vegetation.
Representative Millett will continue to work with the congressional delegation on a serious cleanup plan and securing the funding to make it happen.
For more information, contact Rep. Millett at 907-269-0222.