On February 22, 2017, Penn Live reported that Pennsylvania District Judge Jerry C. Lepley sent a summons to two oil and natural gas companies concerning an alleged leak of flowback water in Lycoming County. According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the two companies allowed over 1,000 gallons of flowback water to discharge into a nearby unnamed tributary, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 169 salamanders. The Fish and Boat Commission has also stated that tests of the tributary where the discharge allegedly occurred have revealed barium, chloride, and strontium. Although the Penn Live article does not specify what species the salamanders belonged to, green salamanders are currently listed as “Pennsylvania Threatened” by the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program.
The companies must appear in court on March 8, 2017.