HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Houston drilling company has agreed to pay a $93,710 settlement in lieu of fines and civil damages to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission as a result of the company’s pollution of Clearfield County’s Little Laurel Run in late 2010.
EOG Resources, Inc. agreed to the settlement following investigations by the commission’s waterways conservation officers and the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection. The investigations determined the substances the company released were deleterious, destructive or poisonous to fish.
The substances first entered Little Laurel Run, which has designated “high quality water,” on Dec. 13, 2010, and affected the creek through March 22, 2011.
As part of the settlement, EOG also agreed to pay an additional $65,000 toward an environmental project of the commission’s choosing in the Laurel Run watershed. The money will be placed into a PFBC restricted account until a project is developed.
This is the fourth settlement EOG has reached with the PFBC this year.
In April, the company settled charges involving three separate pollution incidents in Clearfield County. During the period of Aug. 25, 2009, through Oct. 30, 2009, EOG allowed fluid from a pit to enter a spring located at the Sykesville Hunting Camp on Alex Branch and its tributaries. EOG paid $99,125 for this incident.
On Oct. 10 and 11, 2009, EOG allowed well wash fluid containing surfactant to enter Alex Branch and its tributaries. EOG paid $10,000 for this incident. And from June 3, 2010, through Aug. 16, 2010, EOG allowed gas and a mixture of fresh water and well flowback water to flow into Little Laurel Run. EOG paid $99,500 for this incident.
Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission introduced a toll-free hotline for the public to report suspected pollution incidents or fish kills. The number, 855-FISH-KIL (855-347-4545), lets the public alert PFBC staff to suspected environmental incidents.