Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NY Department of Environmental Conservation Fines Driller For Polluting Stream

Allegany State Park scene

This week New York environmental regulators are seeking $187,500 in fines against a gas drilling company in Pennsylvania for polluting Yeager Creek, a designated trout stream in New York's Allegany State Park.  The drilling was done by U. S. Energy Development Corp. Storm water runoff from U. S. Energy's roads and well pads in Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest washed a large quantity of mud into the creek which is located in New York's Allegany State Park.  So the problem occurred in Pennsylvania and then continued on into New York.  Mud spills know no boundaries.

Read more here.

In the above Times Union article, you will read some very interesting facts:
  • U.S. Energy has repeatedly fouled Yeager Creek since August 2010.
  • U.S. Energy agreed to fix surface drainage problems but did not do so.
  • The wells causing this pollution were vertical, not horizontally hydrofracked.
  • U.S. Energy denied any problems and will dispute the fine.
  • In July 2009, PA environmental officials fined U.S. Energy and halted drilling at most of its wells because of hundreds of "persistent and repeated" environmental violations over the previous two years.
It appears that U.S. Energy Corp. has a very bad record on environmental issues.  Repeat offenders in U.S. courts, for example, DUIs, are dealt with more harshly.  Will this gas company be allowed to go merrily on its way and continue to disregard the environmental health of our valuable forest lands?

DEC Press Release

"This enforcement action should provide a strong deterrent to other oil and gas well operators in New York and neighboring states whose operations impact New York's natural resources," said DEC Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel Steven Russo. "We will not allow U.S. Energy's actions in Pennsylvania to negatively impact New York's waters."


smurfette said...

Are they KIDDING? This is like giving a mass murderer a slap on the wrist as punishment and sending him out to kill again. That "fine" is a pittance and will probably be laughed about at corporate meetings.There is NO WAY that this small amount will be a deterrent to ANYTHING.What a FARCE!

Peacegirl said...

My sentiments exactly, smurfette! Always good to read your comments!