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Deadline Passes On Stream Plans

By Staff | Jan 12, 2011

From increasing visits to well sites to allowing third party reviews of planned soil disturbances, officials with Chesapeake Energy said they are determined to prevent any more allegedly unauthorized stream fillings.

Jan. 5 marked the day by which U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials said Chesapeake needed to supply restoration and remediation plans for the work in Wetzel and Marshall counties. In November, EPA officials issued four separate “Orders for Compliance,” citing the driller for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act from January 2007 until November.

EPA spokeswoman Donna Heron previously said Chesapeake had received permission to wait until Jan. 5 to provide plans on how to address the problems. However, she could not confirm last week whether the company had met its deadline.

“I’ve been told by our attorneys that there is nothing further we can say. This is an enforcement action, which is a confidential process,” Heron said.

According to the orders, EPA has the ability to fine Chesapeake as much as $200,000 per day for the work, which included the alleged removal of a waterfall to create a gravel road in the stream channel of Blake Fork, , about 2.4 miles north of the intersection of County Road 1/13 and state Route 89, near Proctor.

Blake Fork and three other streams affected by Chesapeake’s drilling activities are tributaries of Fish Creek, which flows into the Ohio River.

Another violation involves the impoundment of an unnamed tributary to Laurel Run between January 2007 and December 2009. The stream was located on David Evick’s property, roughly 2,000 feet east of Greenfield Ridge in Cameron.

Another order involved constructing the Gordon Stansberry well pad about 2.2 miles north of state Route 89. This project also included the burial of an underground pipeline.

The final citation is for building the Chesapeake “B” well pad, along with the widening of Lynn Camp Road, also located north of state Route 89.

Each of the four orders notes at the end that fines of up to $50,000 per day may be imposed if Chesapeake does not follow the instructions, hence the possibility of $200,000 in fines each day. The compliance orders compel Chesapeake to remove the fill and restore the streams and wetlands “to pre-disturbance conditions” and “requires mitigation for the environmental harm which was caused by the unlawful discharge to waters of the United States.”

Information provided by Chesapeake’s director of corporate development, Stacey Brodak, notes the company continues to work “closely with the United States EPA on isolated issues concerning earth moving activity near natural gas drilling operations in Wetzel County and Marshall County.”

Deadline Passes On Stream Plans

By Staff | Jan 12, 2011

From increasing visits to well sites to allowing third party reviews of planned soil disturbances, officials with Chesapeake Energy said they are determined to prevent any more allegedly unauthorized stream fillings.

Jan. 5 marked the day by which U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials said Chesapeake needed to supply restoration and remediation plans for the work in Wetzel and Marshall counties. In November, EPA officials issued four separate “Orders for Compliance,” citing the driller for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act from January 2007 until November.

EPA spokeswoman Donna Heron previously said Chesapeake had received permission to wait until Jan. 5 to provide plans on how to address the problems. However, she could not confirm last week whether the company had met its deadline.

“I’ve been told by our attorneys that there is nothing further we can say. This is an enforcement action, which is a confidential process,” Heron said.

According to the orders, EPA has the ability to fine Chesapeake as much as $200,000 per day for the work, which included the alleged removal of a waterfall to create a gravel road in the stream channel of Blake Fork, , about 2.4 miles north of the intersection of County Road 1/13 and state Route 89, near Proctor.

Blake Fork and three other streams affected by Chesapeake’s drilling activities are tributaries of Fish Creek, which flows into the Ohio River.

Another violation involves the impoundment of an unnamed tributary to Laurel Run between January 2007 and December 2009. The stream was located on David Evick’s property, roughly 2,000 feet east of Greenfield Ridge in Cameron.

Another order involved constructing the Gordon Stansberry well pad about 2.2 miles north of state Route 89. This project also included the burial of an underground pipeline.

The final citation is for building the Chesapeake “B” well pad, along with the widening of Lynn Camp Road, also located north of state Route 89.

Each of the four orders notes at the end that fines of up to $50,000 per day may be imposed if Chesapeake does not follow the instructions, hence the possibility of $200,000 in fines each day. The compliance orders compel Chesapeake to remove the fill and restore the streams and wetlands “to pre-disturbance conditions” and “requires mitigation for the environmental harm which was caused by the unlawful discharge to waters of the United States.”

Information provided by Chesapeake’s director of corporate development, Stacey Brodak, notes the company continues to work “closely with the United States EPA on isolated issues concerning earth moving activity near natural gas drilling operations in Wetzel County and Marshall County.”