Consol Energy Inc. has reached a settlement with state and federal regulators to pay $3 million for Clean Water Act violations that occurred years ago in its coal operations. Consol had been waiting to reach the agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The company has already spent heavily to resolve some of the violations and prevent future incidents. It also has set aside money to pay for the settlement. The government alleged that Consol consistently violated its Clean Water Act discharge permits. Federal regulators started reviewing the company’s discharges in 2011. Consol would also better manage and monitor mining wastewater at its Bailey Mine Complex in Pennsylvania as part of the settlement. The company has been transitioning to a pure-play natural gas exploration and production company in recent years. It has sold $5 billion in coals assets since 2012. It has just one non-operated coal complex in its portfolio.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday signed an executive order to create a one-call notification system for oil and gas-related emergencies. It would allow the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the state Department of Commerce to immediately adopt rules to implement the system. The one-call system would allow multiple state entities to coordinate and respond to oil and gas-related incidents in the “quickest and most efficient manner possible to protect public health and safety,” the administration said. The system would create a single point of contact to better mobilize trained staff to deal with explosions, spills, fires or any other oil and gas industry emergency.
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