Pennsylvania DEP issues $30.6M penalty to ETC Northeast Pipeline

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Utica shale oil and gas pipeline
Pipeline construction in Ohio's Utica shale oil and gas region. (Farm and Dairy file photo)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced that it has issued a $30.6 million civil penalty to ETC Northeast Pipeline (ETC) for violations related to the 2018 Revolution Pipeline explosion and fire.

The penalty is one of the largest civil penalties collected in a single settlement.

On Sept. 10, 2018, a landslide occurred along the Revolution Pipeline in Center Township, Beaver County. When the landslide occurred, a section of the pipeline separated, allowing gas to escape from the pipeline. The gas ignited, causing a fire that burned several acres of forested areas; destroyed a single-family home, a barn, and numerous vehicles; resulted in the evacuation of nearby residents; and caused six high voltage electric transmission towers to collapse. Fortunately, no one was harmed in this incident.

The subsequent investigation determined that ETC, which is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, had not stabilized a number of areas along the pipeline resulting in additional slides. ETC also failed to properly implement or maintain hundreds of best management practice controls to address stormwater runoff.

The full investigation also found that during construction of the pipeline, ETC had illegally impacted numerous streams and wetlands along the length of the pipeline right of way.

In the Consent Order and Agreement, $28.6 million will go to the Oil and Gas Program Fund and Clean Water Fund. Revenue in these funds will buttress the department’s oversight of oil and gas development statewide, including pipeline projects, and will also provide financial assistance to water remediation projects across the state. An additional $2 million will go toward an approved community environmental project or projects that will benefit Pennsylvania’s environment and the waters of the commonwealth.

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