In April 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reached three penalty settlements with operators, which totaled nearly $1 million in penalty collections.
On April 10, 2017, PADEP announced a $400,000 settlement with an operator for air quality violations at a facility in Delaware County. According to PADEP, emissions reports submitted by the operator showed that the facility exceeded several permit limits for pollutants such as hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide. Moreover, the reports failed to satisfy the Commonwealth’s data availability requirements. In addition to the civil penalty, the operator has since installed a flare gas recovery system to recover flare gas and reduce emissions.
On April 11, 2017, PADEP announced a $185,000 settlement with an operator related to violations of the Clean Streams Law, Dam Safety and Encroachment Act, and Oil and Gas Act. According to PADEP, inspections of the operator’s pipeline revealed several erosion and sediment control violations, including: (1) failure to comply with the conditions of the Erosion Control Permit and maintain best management practices during earth moving activities; (2) failure to prevent accelerated erosion and sedimentation; (3) discharge of sediment into the waters of the Commonwealth; and (4) constructing an encroachment or water obstruction without a permit.
On April 24, 2017, PADEP announced a $375,000 settlement with an operator related to violations of the Clean Streams Law, Dam Safety and Encroachment Act, Oil and Gas Act; and Solid Waste Management Act in Forest, McKean, and Elk Counties. The violations included: (1) failure to comply with the conditions of the Erosion Control Permit and maintain best management practices during earth moving activities; (2) discharge of an estimated 70 to 100 barrels of crude oil which flowed across land then into a tributary of Windfall Run, a High Quality Cold Water Fishery in McKean County; (3) discharge of an estimated 500 barrels of flowback fluid generated from a valve failure to the ground and surrounding wetlands in Forest County; and (4) failure to follow the approved water management plan for 105 days in McKean County when the operator withdrew water during a drought watch.