Leakage, Spills, Breaches, and Blowouts of Growing Concern in the Natural Gas Industry

by Duane Nichols on April 29, 2011

Dominion Transmission is working with the WV-DEP to address environmental conditions at the Hastings Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) Tank Farm, which is located along state Route 20 in Wetzel county. The main Chemicals of Concern (COC) at the site are petroleum products used by the former operators at the facility to produce gasoline. Additional COCs may be identified as the investigation continues. The WV-DEP is negotiating a voluntary remediation agreement, which includes provisions for identifying human health and ecological risks associated with current and potential uses of the site, to establish appropriate cleanup standards.
 A gas drilling company’s truck spilled mineral oil early Saturday April 23rd, causing a road to be shut down and headaches for drivers in Marion county. Officials say a valve frack truck spilled mineral oil on Little Bingamon Road just after seven in the morning. Crews were working all day to clean up the mess. Officials from the WV-DEP and Department of Transportation were on scene. 
A federal judge blocked Chesapeake Energy last week from removing contaminated soil from a waste pit in Wetzel County. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Larry and Jana Rine who claim Chesapeake unlawfully disposed of drilling wastes in the pit. The pit is located near the Rine drilling pad at Silver Hill, east of New Martinsville. The Rine’s are seeking a more comprehensive cleanup plan. 
When Chesapeake Energy lost control of a Marcellus Shale gas well in Bradford county (Pennsylvania) on April 19, an emergency response team from Texas was called in to stop the leak, according to news reports. By the time the team arrived more than 13 hours later, brine water and hydraulic fracturing fluids from the well had spewed across nearby fields and into a creek. Why did a team have to be called in from Texas? According to a plan that the PA-DEP announced in August 2010, a Pennsylvania-based emergency response crew should have been available to handle the blowout. It would seem that an in-state emergency crew could have handled the blowout in a timely manner.

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