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Ohio Utica Shale

Company fined for unpermitted transfer stations

By Bob Downing Published: August 17, 2012

From last week's Daily Review in Pennsylvania:

The Department of Environmental Protection has fined EXCO Resources LLC of Warrendale $47,500 for operating unpermitted residual waste transfer stations in Lycoming and Sullivan counties in 2011 and 2012.

That violated the state's Solid Waste Management Act.

"For each transfer station, EXCO should have applied to DEP for a solid waste processing permit that has specific requirements for the safe storage, processing and transfer of residual wastes," DEP regional director Marcus Kohl said. "These permit requirements ensure proper protection of the environment as well as public health and safety."

In October 2011, DEP inspectors visiting an EXCO site in Anthony Township, Lycoming County, found 19 hydraulic fracturing tanks that were three-quarters full of flowback water.

A conductivity meter placed in the water registered a high reading, and there was a leak between the first and second tanks with fluid accumulating in the containment area.

It was apparent that flowback water from nearby EXCO well pads was being piped to the frack tanks. A standard frack tank can hold up to 21,000 gallons.

The agency issued a notice of violation to EXCO in November 2011, instructing that the flowback water be transported to a permitted facility and that no additional flowback water be transported to the site until a permit was obtained from DEP.

A DEP inspection in January 2012 confirmed that the tanks had been emptied but 10 roll-off containers were discovered, six of which contained waste sand. A follow-up inspection in February found that all the roll-off containers and 14 of the tanks had been removed. The two remaining tanks were empty.

In January, DEP discovered similar violations involving seven frack tanks at an EXCO site in Shrewsbury Township, Sullivan County. The agency sent the company a notice of violation later that month, and a follow-up inspection in February confirmed that all the tanks had been removed.



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.