At the Midyear Issues Summit in Point Clear, AL, the chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) said the group's 30 member states and seven associate member states will continue to push for federal funding to plug orphaned wells in the states. Commission Chair John Hoeven, governor of North Dakota, said the IOGCC remains committed to environmental protection, and in particular the abandoned wells. "There are believed to be tens of thousands of orphan wells in this country," said Hoeven. "Many of these wells are very shallow and pose no risk to the environment. However, there are others that are unplugged or inadequately plugged and are a genuine threat to the environment and safety. We have focused on these problem wells and are working with Congress on federal funding for a permanent fix." The IOGCC also renewed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The MOU was created in 2002 to improve regulatory cooperation among the states and the EPA, to promote protection of the environment in a cost-effective manner, to minimize regulatory duplication between the state and national levels of government and to increase efficiency and communication.
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