Wednesday, April 27, 2011

EPA Still Waiting for Info on Marcellus Well Leak

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had wanted Chesapeake Energy to supply information by Tuesday, April 26 on the discharge of thousands of gallons of fracking fluid from a Marcellus Shale natural gas well in Bradford County. The chemically-treated wastewater spilled for more than 20 hours before it was contained but not before some flowed across farm fields and into a creek.
E.P.A. spokesman David Sternberg said as of 4 p.m. yesterday, the company had not provided the EPA with the requested information about the fracking fluids used in the drilling process; the water, land and air affected by the release; and, any private well, surface water and soil sampling data collected before and after the April 19 incident.
Sternberg said the company indicated it would provide the data...."We will evaluate this information promptly in consultation with the PA-DEP (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection) and take whatever action is needed to protect public health and the environment."

Sternberg says the agency has directed Chesapeake to provide more extensive information by May 9th regarding the timeline of the incident, source of the discharge, substances placed into or returned from the wells at the site; whether radiological compounds were present in the fracking water or sediment; effects on drinking water supplies; any other leaks, spills or releases at the site; each chemical brought to the site; and, any wastewater storage at the site.

And if the company doesn't comply by May 9th? "It would be premature to comment on potential violations and the potential of future enforcement actions. As a matter of policy, we don't comment on potential enforcement matters until they're filed or initiated."

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