Apr 27, 2011

EPA Directs Company to Supply Information in Pa. Gas Well Incident

Agency and state are investigating possible effects on water supplies and soil

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has directed Chesapeake Energy Corp. to supply information in connection with the discharge of drilling fluids from a natural gas well last week in Leroy Township, Bradford County, Pa. While the commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the lead in responding to this incident, EPA staff requested by yesterday information on the hydraulic fracturing fluids used in the drilling process at the well; the water, land and air affected by the release; and any private well, surface water and soil sampling data collected in the area before and after the April 19 incident.

The information request, authorized under three federal statutes, was sent to Chesapeake Energy officials on April 22.

“We want a complete accounting of operations at the site to determine our next steps in this incident and to help prevent future releases of this kind,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin.

By May 9, the company is directed to provide extensive information regarding:

• Details of the incident, including timelines, sources of discharge and the extent of environmental impact;
• Substances placed into or returned to the surface from the wells at the site;
• Whether radiological compounds are or were present in the fluids or sediment generated as part of the well development;
• Results of any subsequent sampling data;
• Effects on any drinking water supplies;
• All permits or water quality standards that may have been violated;
• Any other leaks, spills or releases that have occurred at wells on the drilling site;
• The history of drilling operations at the well site;
• Each chemical brought to the site, including type and quantities and storage, management and handling practices;
• Any temporary wastewater storage impoundments on the site; and
• Processing of wastewater from wells at the site.