Chesapeake hit with Pennsylvania fines

Costly violations: Authorities said Chesapeake worked to rectify situations

Authorities in Pennsylvania have fined Chesapeake Energy a total of $565,000 for three separate environmental violations.

The state Department of Environmental Protection said the company allowed sediment from a drilling site in Potter County to run off into a stream during a heavy rainstorm, leading to a charge of $215,000.

In a Bradford County well-control incident in April 2011, chemicals that came aboveground made their way into a nearby waterway, resulting in a charge of $190,000, the DEP said.

In another case in Bradford County, the company's design of a drilling pad led to erosion and "unauthorised filling" of a third-acre of wetlands, Pennsylvania authorities said. That racked up a charge of $160,000.

“The governor and I expect the highest standards to be met and when they are not, we take strong enforcement action,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “We will continue to be vigilant on that front. The protection of the state’s water is paramount.”

Chesapeake said it had voluntarily entered agreements with the regulator to rectify each situation.

“Chesapeake worked proactively with all appropriate regulatory agencies throughout the response and analysis of these incidents to achieve compliance, identify and implement operational improvements and ensure proper resolution,” said Brian Grove, senior director of Corporate Development for Chesapeake’s Eastern Division.

Those remedies included installing erosion controls and reimbursing pollution cleanup costs. The company has agreed to construct 2.55 acres of new wetlands and perform associated regular environmental monitoring.

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