Catalyst Energy fined for environmental violations, contaminating water supplies in PA
Paul NapoliFebruary 26, 2012 1:26 PM
Catalyst Energy Inc., of Pittsburgh, PA, is facing fines and drilling restrictions after violating the Clean Streams Law, the Oil and Gas Act and the Solid Waste Management Act in Pennsylvania.
According to a release by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the agency has fined Catalyst Energy $185,000 for violations at non-Marcellus oil and gas well operations in Forest, McKean and Warren counties. Until 2013, the company also cannot drill new wells or hydraulic fracturing existing wells without prior authorization from the DEP.
“Catalyst has paid the penalty and is working under a negotiated timetable to rectify these violations,” said Kelly Burch, DEP’s northwest regional director. “The company must also demonstrate it is in total compliance before drilling or completing more wells.”
The DEP levied some of the penalties due to spills and leaks of oil and drilling fluids at well sites in each of the counties.
Catalyst Energy also failed to install sufficient sediment controls at well sites in Forest County’s Kingsley and Hickory townships. At one well site in Hickory, the DEP found sediment discharged into the nearby waterway Lick Run and immediately ordered the company to stop construction activity at the site. However, when agency inspectors returned to the well site the following day, Catalyst Energy had not complied with the order. The company has since installed the proper erosion and sediment controls.
In Hickory Township, Catalyst’s oil and natural gas drilling activities contaminated water supplies of fourteen wells. Water sampling showed higher levels of iron, manganese and methane than sampling before its drilling activities. The company restored some of the water supplies after performing well cleanouts and installing water treatment systems. Catalyst also remediated some contamination by work done on its own wells. Eight water supplies remain contaminated and the DEP has given Catalyst Energy sixty days to inform the agency how it plans to fix them.
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, Natural Gas
, Hydraulic Fracturing
, Catalyst Energy
, Department of Environmental Protection
, Clean Streams Law
, Oil and Gas Act
, Solid Waste Management Act