Drilling wastewater spill results in fine for Atlas Resources

Sponsored by

PITTSBURGH, PA, Aug. 17, 2010 -- The Department of Environmental Protection has fined Atlas Resources LLC $97,350 for allowing used hydraulic fracturing fluids to overfill a wastewater pit and contaminate a high-quality watershed in Hopewell Township, Washington County.

The violations were discovered on Dec. 5 and 6, 2009, at the Cowden 17 gas well on Old Trail Road off Route 844. Once the unknown quantity of fluid overflowed the impoundment's banks, it ran over the ground and into a tributary of Dunkle Run.

"It is unacceptable for drilling companies in Pennsylvania to threaten public safety or harm the environment through careless acts, such as this," DEP Southwest Regional Director George Jugovic Jr. said. "The Marcellus Shale offers significant economic opportunities for Pennsylvania, but these companies must adopt operating standards that prevent these sorts of accidents and they must make protecting our water resources a top priority."

This spill violated Pennsylvania's Oil and Gas Act and Solid Waste Management Act, as well as the state's Clean Streams Law. Atlas corrected the problem once it was discovered, but failed to report it to DEP.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process during which liquid is pumped under high pressure down a well and into a rock formation. This causes the formation to crack open and form passages through which natural gas can flow into the borehole.

Properly cased and cemented wells prevent the fluid from entering ground water supplies. Diluted frack fluids are classified as residual waste under Pennsylvania's Solid Waste Management Act and industrial waste under the state Clean Streams Law.

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

AZ wastewater reclamation department improves THM monitoring with online THM analyzer

The Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department of Arizona has purchased and installed an online trihalomethane analyzer from Aqua Metrology Systems to monitor daily levels of the disinfection byproduct at its Tres Rios Wastewater Reclamation Facility.

Veolia selects Xylem as preferred partner under multi-year global contract

Under a major global contract, Veolia recently selected Xylem as a preferred partner to develop water and wastewater pumping and mixing solutions for all Veolia entities and relevant projects worldwide.

UK wastewater treatment works expansion to receive detailed design, project management

The Laing O’Rouke-Imtech joint venture recently appointed a partnership between Hyder Consulting and Mott MacDonald to provide design and project management services for a multimillion-pound expansion of Davyhulme wastewater treatment works in Greater Manchester, England.

NASP launches new Material Science Lab to drive piping innovations

North American Specialty Products has announced that it is celebrating the opening of a new Material Science Laboratory in the census-designated community of Leola, Pa.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA