Pa. DEP fines drilling company $175,000 for violations in Allegheny County

Fracking Fluid Management

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection fined a drilling company $175,000 for erosion and sedimentation violations at an Allegheny County well pad.

The DEP said in a June 1 press release that on several occasions in 2019, Olympus Energy LLC allowed sediment-laden water to flow past its management systems and into a tributary of the Youghiogheny River near its Plutus well pad and Ceto tank pad in Elizabeth Township.

The first time was in March 2019, during the construction of the site. Numerous erosion and sedimentation best management practices were  improperly implemented and/or maintained. Some best management practices were not constructed in accordance with the operator’s erosion and sedimentation control general permit authorization for earth disturbance associated with oil and gas exploration, production, processing or treatment operations or transmission facilities

On several more occasions from April to September 2019, areas of the site were not stabilized and more erosion and sedimentation occurred. The company removed sediment and fixed the site’s other issues, and by June 2020, the DEP found all violations had been corrected.

The company paid a $175,000 civil penalty to the state’s Oil and Gas Program Fund. Olympus Energy, formerly Huntley & Huntley Energy Exploration or HHEX, operates more than 100,000 nearly contiguous acres in southwestern Pennsylvania. The company is based in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

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