A Couple of Incidents

Here are a couple of incidents involving gas wells going on in PA.  Please make an effort to call DEP if you see anything going on that you think may be in violation. Examples would be something like excessive water withdrawal from streams or erosion and sediment concerns. You can call Patty Dillman at 570.662.0830 or Barb Santonico at 570.327.0549. Patty works in our local area for the DEP and Barb is the Williamsport area representative who will make sure the complaint gets to the right program. These complaints must be responded to by a DEP inspector and they are REQUIRED to respond within 10 days.

Chesapeake Appalachia Penalty, Asylum Township, Bradford County: Chesapeake was drilling a gas well at the Chancellor well site in Asylum Township.  During operations there was a release of about 295 gallons of hydrochloric acid between February 9 and 10.  Chesapeake performed remedial activities to address the release in a timely manner and made institutional changes in an effort to avoid future releases.  Chesapeake agreed to a civil penalty assessment in the amount of $15,557.38, which included $619.88 in DEP costs.  The consent assessment was finalized on Sept. 9.  (Jennifer Means 570-321-6557)

EOG Resources Inc., Lawrence Township, Clearfield County: During a complaint investigation on Aug. 25, Oil and Gas program staff discovered elevated water quality parameters in a small spring and the headwater portion of Alex Branch.  These waters are located near several EOG Resources natural gas well sites in Lawrence Township.  Oil and Gas program staff and Pa. Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) staff subsequently conducted further testing on Aug. 27 in an effort to determine the extent of the pollution.  The results of this testing confirmed our initial suspicions of pollution.  On Sept. 4, DEP and PFBC staff met on site with representatives from EOG Resources to initiate an implementation schedule that addresses the extent of the pollution and proactive measures the company has initiated to address this issue.  There are two gas well sites that DEP is investigating at this point–8H well and 9H well–and an associated surface release of fracking flow back material.  This release was associated with a “misting event” that occurred as the company was flowing back the 9H well.  Due to the high pressures associated with this part of the drilling process, some of the flow back material is released to the fracking pit as a mist.  Some of this mist left the pad location and deposited on the ground.  One of the pits associated with the 8H well has been completely removed, including cuttings and liners.  EOG has been cooperative in the process and has retained an environmental consultant to conduct further sampling.  Oil and Gas and Environmental Cleanup program staff are continuing to investigate these incidents to determine what further remedial measures and enforcement actions will be necessary. 

Centre County Transfer Station Inspection, College Township, Centre County: On Sept. 9, the Waste Management program conducted a trash vehicle inspection at the Centre County Solid Waste Authority’s transfer station in College Township.  DEP staff conducted operational and safety inspections.  There were 43 vehicle inspections with 16 violations found on 12 vehicles. There were three violations for having incomplete or no signs on the vehicle, nine violations for not maintaining a daily operational log, two violations for leaking load, one violation for a discharged fire extinguisher and one violation for not having a tarp on the load.  There were 12 notice of violations issued. The assessments for the violations could go as high as $1,500 per violation.  

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