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Ohio Utica Shale

West Virginia, M3 agree on $37,830 fine for water violations

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2013

From the FrackCheckWV blog:

Source: WV DEP: February 6, 2013

The WV Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) and M3 Appalachian have proposed a settlement of Administrative Consent Order No. 7746 which resolves violation(s) of the WV Water Pollution Control Act which occurred in Harrison, Marion and Monongalia County, WV. In accordance with the proposed Consent Order, 7746 has agreed to pay administrative penalties and to comply with the Act. Final settlement is subject to comments received during the thirty (30) day period ending March 10, 2013.

Further information about this Administrative Consent Order is available by contacting the Chief Inspector, WVDEP/Environmental Enforcement, 601 57th Street SE, Charleston, WV 25304, (304) 926-0470 See also the WV DEP web-site Settlement Document of 23 pages including a number of photographs of the three streams and the drilling mud that polluted them.


From the article by David Beard, The Morgantown Dominion Post, 2-7-13

The WV Department of Environmental Protection announced a settlement with M3 Appalachia Gathering for drilling mud spills in the Monongahela River, Jakes Run and Dunkard Creek. Along with remediation actions outlined in the consent order, the proposed settlement includes a fine of $37,830.

M3 Appalachia Gathering is an affiliate of Texas-based Momentum Energy and operates a natural gas pipeline gathering system, called the Appalachia Gathering System (AGS) in Monongalia, Marion and Harrison counties, and Greene and Washington counties in Pennsylvania. Momentum has contracts to serve Chesapeake Appalachia and Statoil. The proposed settlement won’t be final until a 30-day comment period concludes March 10.

According to the WV-DEP documents:

>> DEP received notice of a drilling mud spill into the Monongahela River in Marion County on May 1, 2012. Momentum received a Notice of Violation and began remediation actions.

>> During a June 5 inspection, DEP observed drilling mud in Jakes Run and issued another violation notice. Momentum again began corrective actions.

>> On June 9, inspectors observed mud in Tevebaugh Creek in Marion County and issued another violation. Momentum began corrective actions.

>> On Aug. 31, DEP received notice of a drilling mud release into Dunkard Creek. It issued a violation and corrective actions began.

>> On Oct. 2, DEP responded to another mud release into Dunkard Creek, with the same consequences.

>> Within 20 days of the effective date of the consent order, Momentum must submit a full corrective plan and timeline.

Jim Roberts, Momentum vice president, said everything was corrected before a November meeting at the WV-DEP’s Charleston office. Everything is now stabilized and they are monitoring it to make sure everything is back to normal. Roberts said that in some instances, a contractor’s failure to follow procedures led to the incident. Momentum doesn’t like it when these accidents happen, but they have responded accordingly. “We do feel like we’re a very responsible company,” Roberts said. “We do take responsibility and correct things and want to do things right.”



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

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National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

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

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