WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — On Thursday, October 20, 2022, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, is awarding $12.7 million in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for contracts to plug and remediate 151 orphaned wells on three national wildlife refuges in Northeast Louisiana. The announcement comes during the Interior Department’s “Legacy Pollution Week,” an opportunity to honor the work that has been done, and the opportunities ahead.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $16 billion historic investment in legacy pollution is creating new opportunities for revitalization across the country. The Service entered into a cooperative agreement with the State of Louisiana to plug six wells in Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 59 wells in the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, and 68 wells in the D’Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge.

This is an important undertaking, and we are fortunate to partner with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to ensure these orphaned wells no longer pose a threat to natural resources and public health. We recognize some of these projects are multi-year endeavors, and we are committed to the process. We look forward to the day when our collective efforts have eliminated the environmental and safety hazards to communities and wildlife caused by these derelict structures.

Service Director Martha Williams