How is this???Chesapeake handed record fine for Pennsylvania gas drilling
By Edward McAllister
NEW YORK | Tue May 17, 2011 3:44pm EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pennsylvania regulators levied a record fine for contaminating drinking water against major natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy,
a move that threatens to intensify a fierce debate over drilling for natural gas in the state.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection fined Chesapeake $900,000 for contaminating water supplies in Bradford County, a busy drilling area in the prolific Marcellus shale gas formation, the agency said on Tuesday. It was fined another $188,000 for a fire that injured three workers
The fine will again put a spotlight on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial process used to extract natural gas from shale formations, which involves blasting a mix of water, chemicals and sand into the rock.
While public criticism has recently been focused on the possible contamination from fracking waste products, Tuesday's action stems from complaints that the gas itself had seeped into the drinking water.
The agency began an investigation in 2010 after receiving complaints from residents about drinking water near Chesapeake shale gas drilling sites. The agency concluded that coBOSntamination was caused by improper well casing and cementing, allowing seepage from non-shale shallow gas formations.
"The water well contamination fine is the largest single penalty DEP has ever assessed against an oil and gas operator," said Mike Krancer, secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
"Our message to drillers and to the public is clear."
Chesapeake Energy said in a statement that it will pay the fines and has improved its cementing and casing practices since the investigation.
The incidents occurred in the Marcellus shale gas formation, which is estimated to hold enough natural gas to meet U.S. demand for a decade or more. Attention is being drawn to the region by groups concerned about possible health risks from fracking, especially in relation to drinking water.
Neighboring New York state, home to a smaller stretch of the Marcellus shale formation, has halted permissions for shale drilling while it mulls the affect on drinking water.
Chesapeake suspended completion of natural gas wells in Pennsylvania for three weeks after a well blowout on April 19 sent thousands of gallons of drilling fluid spewing into the surrounding area and into local waterways.
Well completion is work to prepare a site for production after drilling has been completed and involves fracking.
Go to some of the Pennsylvania communities that have allowed hydrofracking, as I have. It has torn the communities apart.
At the very least we need more information and more resident input before this kind of mining is allowed in our community. The dump is bad enough - how much more pollution does our groundwater need...
You have evidence of groundwater contamination. Show us the evidence we would all like to see it. You can't and you know it. You're just running your mouth and can't back up anything you say with actual physical evidence. Typical activist crap. Use scare tactics to stall everything. In the meantime there are no jobs or money in NY. Ask the people in Pa. how much the drilling has boosted the economy. They will tell you it has had a substantial impact. Yes there have problems in some isolated areas but the good far outweighs the bad.