Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2 Years, 1435 Violations Drilling in PA Shale

Over the past two and a half years 43 companies drilling into Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale accrued 1435 violations - and possibly more - says the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association (PALTA). Using records obtained from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) PALTA identified 952 violations they judge as "having the most potential for direct impact on the environment". Those do not include violations incurred by wastewater haulers (who racked up more than 1,000 violations in an enforcement blitz in June).

A quick breakdown of those 952 violations shows that:
  • 277 (29%) involve improper erosion ans sediment plans
  • 268 (20%) involve improper construction of wastewater impoundments
  • 154 (16%) involve discharge of industrial waste
  • 100 (11%) involve violations of PA's Clean Stream Law
  • 16 (2%) involve improper blowout prevention
  • 10 (1%) involve improper well-casing construction
The report also lists the 25 companies with the most violations and the 25 companies with the highest average number of violations per well driller. Leading the pack for violations are: East Resources (138 violations for 140 wells), Chesapeake Appalachia (118 violations for 153 wells), Chief Oil and Gas (109 violations for 45 wells) and Cabot Oil & Gas (94 violations for 60 wells).

Many of the companies had, on average, more than one violation per well drilled. JW Operating led the list with 11 violations for one well. Chief Oil and Gas had an average of 2 violations per well and Chesapeake came in at the bottom with 0.8 violations/well drilled.

Read the entire report here.

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