Ultra hit with EPA fracking fluid fine

Ultra Resources has been slapped with a $40,000 fine by Pennsylvanian authorities over repeated infringements involving hydraulic fracturing fluid at a site in Potter County.

The offshoot of Ultra Petroleum was twice found to have violated regulations governing such fluid having been warned about the infringement.

The Department of Environmental Protection (EPC) carried out an inspection of Ultra’s premises in West Branch Township in February last year.

The EPA “found 47 wheelie storage tanks on-site that were holding more than 760,000 gallons of raw flowback fluid that Ultra was using for hydraulic fracturing at other area sites,” a statement from the Pennsylvanian branch of the body read this week.

Further inspections were carried out in March and July last year where additional violations were unearthed, “including the failure to post well permit numbers at the site”.

A violation notice was issued in July but additional violations were uncovered the very next month.

“Those violations included flowback fluids around the wheelie tanks and on the containment liner; failure to properly stabilise several areas of the well pad and access road; and improper construction of a sediment basin.”

As a result, Ultra has been with the fine “for operating an illegal transfer station at a well pad”.

For its part, the EPA said Ultra “submitted a report to DEP in early October 2011 that documented the corrective actions it took at the Fowler well site to address the violations”.

A November inspection confirmed that all violations had been corrected.

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