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Friday, January 7, 2011

Chief Oil and Gas Subsidiary Pays $34,000 Fine, Surrenders Permit after Discharging Industrial Waste Illegally in Lycoming County

More than 25,000 Gallons Discharged to Big Run Watershed

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection announced today that it has imposed a $34,000 fine on Chief Gathering LLC, of Dallas, Texas—a subsidiary of Chief Oil and Gas—for illegally discharging hydrostatic testing water at a pipeline project in Penn Township, Lycoming County, in August 2010.

Chief Gathering builds and operates natural gas pipelines. Hydrostatic tests involve placing water in a natural gas pipeline at the required pressure to ensure there are no leaks before it is placed into service.

In conjunction with the enforcement action, Chief agreed to voluntary surrender its discharge permit, and did so early in December.

“Chief clearly did not comply with the requirements of the DEP discharge permit that was issued to the company in February 2009,” said DEP North-central Regional Director Nels Taber.

DEP’s Water Management Program conducted an investigation on Aug. 12, after Chief notified the department that a hydrostatic water discharge had occurred the previous day—contrary to an earlier notification in which Chief indicated that no discharge would occur.

DEP inspectors determined that 21,000 gallons of hydrostatic testing water remained in storage on-site, but that an additional 25,200 gallons had already been discharged to the Big Run watershed. None of the discharged water reached any nearby surface streams.

The investigation revealed numerous other violations, including:

• Failure to minimize the flow rate from the discharge point and allowing the formation of a 150-foot erosion channel;

• Failure to submit accurate, detailed Notice of Intent project information;

• Discharging hydrostatic test water with a total chlorine residual greater than 0.05 parts per million;

• Allowing an unknown industrial waste to co-mingle in five storage tanks with the hydrostatic test water, which was subsequently discharged; and

• A failure to monitor the discharge for the specified effluent parameters at the minimum frequency required.

The department issued a notice of violation to Chief, and the company provided a detailed explanation regarding the event as well as corrective actions taken to prevent a recurrence.

The fine was paid to the Clean Water Fund, which helps to finance cleanups across the state.

For more information, call 570-327-3659 or visit www.depweb.state.pa.us.

8 comments :

Anonymous said...

look at all those dead fish in maryland and florida,i beleive they are playing with stuff they don't know enough about yet!
scary!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm all for drilling with proper management of the process (if that's even possible), but a $34k fine is chump change to these guys.

You need to hit them where it hurts..their pockets. It should have been a much larger fine, and a 1 year or more ban from drilling in Pa. Do that to a couple companies that deserve it and it will go a long way, IMO.

Anonymous said...

These people filled a new metal pipe with water, pressured it up for testing,then emptied it out.
Don't get yourself in a dither,it's just water! It is a permitting issue not a contamination issue. That is a pretty solid fine for not doing the correct paperwork.

Anonymous said...

4:31,

The problem is that if they don't value that set of regulations and follow them, what other regulations won't they follow.

Anonymous said...

I was working on this project, and the gas company didn't have anything to do with it. The contractor doing the the work released the water(which was clean),and the people responsible were fired imediately. 80% of the fines on these gas companies are results of subcontractors and trucking companies many of which are local contractors.

Anonymous said...

"the people responsible were fired imediately." ???
I hope this wasn't the case.
There is not enough workforce to import from Texas and West Virginia to replace gas workers every time a violation occurs around here!

Thank You said...

7:29:00 PM
Thank you for your post, I am so glad someone is willing to "fill in the blanks" as far as info goes! So many are quick to jump on the negative ban wagon the minute anything is post that is about the gas industry with out even knowing what they are talking about!
THANK YOU AND HAVE A GOOD DAY!!!

Anonymous said...

this is like fining me $30 for dumping a 50 gallon drum of oil into a river.

A JOKE

but we wouldn't want actual punishment, then "your" representatives wouldn't get so much $$ in their pockets

hope everyone likes cancer.
(i've been through chemo, it's no fun.)
DRILLBABYDRILL!!!