Pa. DEP penalizes EQT for release of abandoned mine drainage

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sshale oil and gas drilling rig

PITTSBURGH — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that EQT Production Company has paid a $294,000 fine for releasing 4 million gallons of abandoned mine drainage in Allegheny County.

On Jan. 29, 2017, EQT was using horizontal directional drilling to bore a hole under State Route 136 for the construction of its Monongahela to Rostosky Waterline in Forward Township, Allegheny County.

EQT inadvertently bored into the abandoned Gallatin mine, causing a discharge of abandoned mine drainage into the Monongahela River.

The abandoned mine drainage discharged through the waterline borehole to unnamed tributaries to the Monongahela River, the Monongahela River and associated wetlands.

EQT was aware that several abandoned coal mines were within the site, but had relied on regional mapping that generally described mine pools as “not flooded or unknown” and did not undertake any further investigation.

EQT has since implemented an internal multi-department process to prevent future mine water releases.

EQT also constructed a subsurface collection and conveyance system to reestablish the collection and drainage system in place at the time of the release.

EQT also agreed to establish a $100,000 fund with the Clean Streams Foundation to provide for the maintenance, operation and replacement of the system.

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