Natural gas driller EQT fined $330K for erosion violations in Allegheny County
An oil and gas well in Forward Township, Allegheny County. (Reid R. Frazier/StateImpact Pennsylvania)
Natural gas driller EQT was fined $330,000 by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for erosion violations at two natural gas sites in Allegheny County.
The agency said sediment from two well pads in Forward Township was eroding into a tributary to Kelly Run, which flows into the Monongahela River.
The problems were first spotted by a DEP inspection in February 2018, when inspectors found “sediment laden waters” were flowing over erosion control barriers at the Fetchen and Prentice well pad sites.
The agency found the company built a road at the Prentice site without first getting a state permit to do so. The company was also cited for not informing the DEP of its erosion problems, which it is required to do by the conditions of its state-issued erosion control permits. The erosion problems continued until EQT corrected them in May 2018 at the Prentice site and November 2018 at the Fetchen site.
“DEP expects all permittees — particularly large, longtime operators — to construct facilities and report problems in accordance with state regulations and permit conditions, but these failures demonstrate the importance of verifying compliance and enforcing the regulations,” said DEP Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management Scott Perry, in a statement.
EQT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
StateImpact Pennsylvania is a collaboration among WITF, WHYY, WESA and the Allegheny Front to report on the commonwealth’s energy economy.