Monday, December 7, 2009

DEP Fines Chesapeake, Schlumberger for Spill in Bradford County, PA

Today the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that they have fined Chesapeake Appalachia LLC and Schlumberger Technology Corp. $15,557 each for a 295-gallon hydrochloric acid spill at Chesapeake’s Chancellor well site in Asylum Township, Bradford County.

"Fortunately, this hazardous waste spill was promptly reported, which proved critical in limiting the environmental damage," DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell told the press. Here is the information DEP released today:

Chesapeake staff notified DEP on Feb. 9 that a 21,000-gallon tank containing 36 percent hydrochloric acid was leaking. The acid was used for hydraulic fracturing.

When a DEP inspector arrived at the site, it was determined that the tank had two leaks and was losing about 7.5 gallons per hour of hydrochloric acid.

Chesapeake’s emergency contractor arrived that evening and removed free-standing acid from the ground with absorbent pads; excavated trenches to contain the acid; neutralized acid-contaminated soil with soda ash and hydrated lime; and transferred about 11,000 gallons of acid from the leaking tank to two temporary tanks.

About 126 tons of contaminated soil had to be excavated, and more than 13,800 gallons of a hydrochloric acid and water mixture were removed from the well site.

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