The Ontario government has announced that it will be providing the municipalities of Niagara with an additional $280,000 to accomplish the objective of managing abandoned oil and gas wells. Photo Credit: Sam Oosterhoff.
Municipalities across the country are seeking to utilize innovative technologies to realize environmental stewardship. As a result, there is a growing need to prioritize the management of unoccupied locations that were formerly used for energy production and are still the home to chemicals and/or substances. With this end in mind, the Ontario government has announced that it will be providing the municipalities of Niagara with an additional $280,000 to accomplish the objective of managing abandoned oil and gas wells.
“There are several old and inactive oil and gas wells across Niagara, especially in the southern part of the Region,” said Sam Oosterhoff, Member of Provincial Parliament for Niagara West. “This funding will help to protect our local environment, manage risks associated with abandoned wells and help keep communities safe.”
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Graydon Smith weighed in as well.
“We heard from municipalities across Southern Ontario that they need support in addressing the complex challenges related to the use of petroleum resources in their communities,” said Smith. “This investment will help municipalities build capacity, increase their understanding of risks, and begin to take specific mitigating actions.”
Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton also expressed her gratitude for the announcement.
“On behalf of Lincoln Council, we applaud the provincial government for making an investment in the health and safety of our communities,” said Easton. “Promoting and encouraging public safety is a priority for Council, and we look forward to collaborating with upper levels of government to ensure we are protecting our community and the natural environment.”
Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley touted the $280,000 investment to help safeguard the environment from the impacts of inactive oil and gas wells.
Rob Roster, Regional Councillor for Lincoln, was also encouraged by the new funding commitment.
“As Chair of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, I welcome this funding which will help protect our local watershed and natural habitat,” said Roster. “Abandoned oil and gas wells continue to pose risk to the environment and our local communities.”
The funds, which are part of a broader $7.5 million being dedicated by the Ontario government over the next three years that will seek to reduce oil/gas risks and improve emergency preparedness in respective municipalities. In total, the government is investing $23.6 million to address risk from former oil/gas wells and subsurface gas migration hazards.
Nick Redekop completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Labour Studies at Brock University. He has previously served in municipal and federal politics. In his free time, Nick enjoys following sports, taking part in outdoor activities, and reading biographies. Nick resides in Niagara Falls