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Orphan or Abandoned Well Plugging Program (OAWP)

Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits, For-Profits,
Agencies, and IHEs to Plug Abandoned Wells

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Deadline Date:

05/31/19 Receipt


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Grants to Pennsylvania nonprofits, for-profits, IHEs, watershed organizations, and government agencies to plug abandoned and orphan gas and oil wells throughout the state. This granting program seeks to support the clearing and plugging of well sites that have the potential to cause safety, environmental, or health concerns.

Eligible projects include the cleaning out and plugging of abandoned and orphan oil and gas wells; stray gas mitigation systems; and well venting projects.

Funds may be used by the applicant to pay for any of the following project costs:
1. Construction of a stray gas mitigation system (which typically includes a methane vent stack and/or ventilation system); replugging improperly plugged and abandoned pre-Act wells; cleaning out and plugging abandoned oil and gas wells. Construction contingencies are limited to 5% of actual construction costs.
2. Site preparation and site restoration costs.
3. Plugging rig mobilization and demobilization costs.
4. Installation of security measures, if needed.
5. Engineering/inspection costs. Maximum of 10% of the grant award.
6. Permit fees.
7. Costs to secure appropriate bonds and insurance.
8. Administrative costs of the applicant necessary to administer the grant. Administrative costs will include advertising, legal, and audit costs as well as documented staff expenses. Administrative costs shall not exceed 2% of the grant.

An eligible applicant shall provide easements and rights-of-way, and landowner commitments to allow project access, relocation of buildings and utilities, reclamation of access roads, erosion and sedimentation controls, revegetation at the project site and access.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 142699

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants shall not exceed a total of $250,000 for any project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any of the following entities may apply for a grant under the Orphan or Abandoned Well Plugging Program (OAWP):
1. Municipality – Any county, city, borough, incorporated town, township or home rule municipality.
2. Councils of Governments – An entity organized by units of local government under an intergovernmental agreement, which provides cooperative planning, coordination and technical assistance to its member governments on issues of mutual concern that cross jurisdictional lines, and which does not act under the direction and control of any single member government.
3. Authorized Organization – An entity involved in research, restoration, rehabilitation, planning, acquisition, development, education or other activities, which furthers the protection, enhancement, conservation, preservation or enjoyment of this commonwealth's environmental, conservation, recreation or similar resources. The organization must be a tax-exempt institution under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c) (3)) and registered with the Bureau of Charitable Organizations or an educational institution involved in these authorized activities or a municipal authority.
4. Institution of Higher Education – An entity that is an accredited university, college, seminary college, community college or two-year college.
5. Watershed Organization – An entity recognized by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or the Department of Environmental Protection that was established to promote local watershed conservation efforts in an identified watershed.
6. For-Profit Businesses – Other than “producers” of natural gas as defined in Act 13.

Ineligible costs include but are not limited to public relations, outreach, communications, lobbying, litigation, fees for securing other financing, interest on borrowed funds, application preparation fees and other costs incurred prior to the approval of grant funds.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications will be accepted between February 1st and May 31st of each year. All applications and required supplemental information must be received by May 31st.

All recipients of funding for construction projects where federal, state, or local planning or permit approvals are required, must state in the application that the project will secure the necessary planning and permit approvals for the project prior to beginning construction.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority charges a $100 non-refundable application fee for the Orphan and Abandoned Well Plugging applications. The application fee is due at the time of submission and should be made payable to the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

For technical inquiries regarding the submission of the online application, contact the Customer Service Center at (800) 379-7448 or (717) 787-3405.

Hard copies should be mailed to:
PA Department of Community and Economic Development
Office of Business Financing – CFA Programs Division
Orphan or Abandoned Well Plugging Program
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225

P: (717) 787-6245
F: (717) 772-3581

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania