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Pennsylvania DEP Fines Regency Unit for Gas Pipeline Construction Violations

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has fined a Regency Energy Partners LP unit $306,570 for multiple violations related to the construction of two natural gas pipelines by an affiliate of PVR Energy Partners LP.

The agency said Regency paid the fines in August after it conducted multiple inspections in 2012 and 2013 on construction of the Canton lateral pipeline and the Wistar extension pipeline in Lycoming, Tioga and Sullivan counties in the northeast part of the state. PVR, part of a package of assets acquired earlier this year by Regency, was cited for 39 violations during an eight-month period, including violations of the Clean Streams Law, the Dam Safety and Encroachment Act and several state regulations.

"Many of these violations occurred over a significant period of time," DEP Director of District Oil and Gas Operations John Ryder said. "We expect that Regency has made operational changes to avoid problems of this nature during future pipeline construction projects."

The penalty was separated into two fines, the largest of which was $275,000, issued for violations related to erosion and sedimentation during PVR's construction of the Canton lateral. During its inspections, DEP cited the company for inadequate erosion and sedimentation controls, unpermitted sediment discharges, stabilization issues and unpermitted encroachments at two stream crossings.

The second fine of $31,570 was issued for similar sediment discharges and various erosion and sedimentation control violations at another stream during PVR's construction of the Wistar extension, the DEP said. PVR corrected all the violations, according to DEP. 

Regency officials said, “we respect the findings of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and have addressed the issues identified,” adding that environmental safety is the top priority where the company operates.

Regency completed a $5.6 billion acquisition of PVR in March (see Shale Daily, Oct. 11, 2013). Regency is part of Energy Transfer, which includes Energy Transfer Partners LP, Energy Transfer Equity LP and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP.

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