In August 2010 Chief was conducting hydrostatic testing at a pipeline project. Hydrostatic tests involve placing water in a natural gas pipeline at the required pressure to ensure there are no leaks before it is placed into service.
During those tests Chief discharged more than 25,000 gallons of hydrostatic testing water into the Big Run watershed – after an earlier notification in which Chief indicated to DEP that no discharge would occur. According to DEP none of the discharged water reached any nearby surface streams
A DEP investigation also revealed numerous other violations including:
- Failure to minimize the flow rate from the discharge point and allowing the formation of a 150-foot erosion channel;
- Failure to submit accurate, detailed Notice of Intent project information;
- Discharging hydrostatic test water with a total chlorine residual greater than 0.05 parts per million;
- Allowing an unknown industrial waste to co-mingle in five storage tanks with the hydrostatic test water, which was subsequently discharged; and
- A failure to monitor the discharge for the specified effluent parameters at the minimum frequency required.
In conjunction with the enforcement action, Chief voluntarily surrendered its discharge permit in early December.