Friday, December 20, 2013

Chesapeake subsidiary agrees to $3.2 million fine for fracking operations that polluted W.Va. water

Chesapeake Appalachia, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., "will pay a civil penalty of $3.2 million for clean-water violations in West Virginia," one of the largest penalties handed out for violations of the Clean Water Act, according to the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency, Tory Parrish reports for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Most of the discharges subject to the consent decree are related to the construction of fracking facilities, but none of them involved actual fracking, said Donna Heron, spokeswoman for the EPA's Mid-Atlantic region."

"In addition to the penalty, Chesapeake Appalachia will spend an estimated $6.5 million to restore 27 sites the federal government and West Virginia allege were damaged by unauthorized discharges of fill material into streams and wetlands, the federal agencies said," Parrish writes. "The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public-comment period and court approval."

Chesapeake said in a statement: “Chesapeake Appalachia LLC has reached a key milestone in the settlement process to resolve federal and state claims relating to surface construction activities that occurred in West Virginia prior to November 2010. The company is fully committed to regulatory compliance and is working with the Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to restore the impacted sites.” (Read more)

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