All’s Well That Ends Orphan Wells

On the banks of LeBoeuf Creek in Erie County, a crew hired by the French Creek Valley Conservancy with help from the Montana-based Well Done Foundation is plugging one of Pennsylvania’s more than 200 thousand orphan and abandoned wells.

“Every one of these orphan wells is its own little ticking time bomb,” said Curtis Shuck, Chairman at the Well Done Foundation 

Pennsylvania DEP representatives agreed that the well was a hazard, but the agency didn’t have the resources to plug the well for decades. That’s where the Well Done Foundation stepped in. 

“Bottom line is, it was about 30 feet from  LeBoeuf Creek and there was a big concern that it was going to be an environmental hazard down the road,” said Josh Lewis, Conservation Coordinator at French Creek Valley Conservancy. 

“This was one of those big, overwhelming projects that you know you should do something about but you don’t have the funding or the bandwidth in your organization, so reaching out to Well Done has been fundamental.”