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Ohio Utica Shale

Pipeline company fined $150,000 for stream pollution

By Bob Downing Published: June 4, 2013

From the Pennsylvania Departemtn of Environmental Protection:

DEP Fines PVR Marcellus Gas Gathering LLC $150,000 for Illegal Discharges During Lycoming County Pipeline Construction

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection has fined PVR Marcellus Gas Gathering LLC of Williamsport, Lycoming County, $150,000 for discharge violations that occurred during construction of the Coal Mountain pipeline in four Lycoming County townships during fall 2011.

“The number and ongoing nature of these violations, which impacted High Quality and Exceptional Value streams, have resulted in a significant penalty,” DEP Director of District Oil and Gas Operations John Ryder said. “The department’s Oil and Gas Program takes enforcement actions like this when industry violations are not appropriately corrected.”

The department began its investigation following a complaint in September 2011 and immediately discovered violations at the Second Fork of Larry’s Creek, where bentonite had been discharged to the creek from a stream boring operation, and PVR failed to report the spill to DEP in a timely manner.

Follow-up inspections of the pipeline project by DEP documented multiple and continuing violations of the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law, the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act and various related environmental regulations, including sediment discharges into High Quality and Exceptional Value streams.

The department also determined that large sections of earth disturbance and open pipeline trenches contributed to the violations. PVR had almost five miles of open trench ahead of the pipe installation. The violations do not appear to have caused any long-term impacts to the streams.

A compliance order issued by the Oil and Gas Program in early October 2011 required PVR to immediately cease all earth disturbance activities and implement specific best management practices to minimize the potential for accelerated erosion and sedimentation.

The company complied with the requirements of DEP’s order in November 2011 and was authorized to resume earth disturbance activities under certain conditions. The department documented additional violations during the remainder of the pipeline construction project. By March 2012, when work on the project was nearly complete, PVR came into compliance with the noted violations.

The Coal Mountain pipeline is a 13-mile, 30-inch diameter gas gathering pipeline that crosses Cogan House, Cummings, Lycoming and Mifflin townships.

For more information, visit or call 570-327-3636.



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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.