A review of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) records has found 1,435 violations of state oil and gas laws by companies plying the state's portion of the Marcellus Shale between January 2008 and June 25, the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association said.
The violations were due to natural gas drilling or other earth disturbance related to gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale during the two and a half-year period, the association said. The review identified 952 violations as having or likely to have an impact on the environment; 483 were identified as likely being an administrative or safety violation and not likely to have a negative impact on the environment, said the association, which obtained the records under a "right to know" request to the DEP.
Of the 952 violations likely to impact the environment:
The report lists the 25 companies with the most violations as well as the 25 companies with the highest average number of violations per well drilled.
East Resources Inc. is listed by the group as having the most violations (138); it also had drilled the most wells (140), giving it among the lowest violations per well (1). Chesapeake Appalachia LLC had the second highest number of violations (118), but it had drilled 153 wells during the period, giving it the lowest number of violations per well (0.8), according to the report. The report said companies with the highest number of violations per well were J-W Operating Co. (11), Citrus Energy Corp. (7), Penn Virginia Oil & Gas Corp. (4), MDS Energy Ltd. (3) and Pennsylvania General Energy Co. LLC (2.6).
The violations do not include those incurred by drilling wastewater haulers, the association said. "During a three-day enforcement blitz in June 2010, 669 traffic citations and 818 written warnings were issued to trucks hauling Marcellus drilling wastewater," the report said.
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