The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says a Marcellus gas well in Wyoming County has been capped after waste water began pouring out of the well bore Wednesday night. The Scranton Times-Tribune reported this morning about the well near the town of Tunkhannock, which was spewing fracking waste water onto the well pad. StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Shale Play interactive shows the well to be in Washington Township, home of 66 active wells as of June 2012.
Four families were asked to evacuate, but only three chose to do so. DEP spokeswoman Colleen Connolly says some of the waste, which contains brine and chemicals, did flow off the well site’s containment area onto a nearby road, but she says that has been cleaned up. She says a crane had to be brought in to get a drill out of the well.
“We were worried about the gas build up in the well,” said Connolly. She says there are no current safety concerns, and families will be allowed back in their homes today. Connolly says DEP did air quality testing within a half a mile perimeter of the well pad, which revealed non-detect levels of methane and volatile organic compounds. DEP also did some water testing near the site, which Connolly says showed non-detect levels of radiation. She says it’s too soon to say how the incident occurred.
The well is operated by Carrizo Oil and Gas, a Houston-based company that has about 107 active wells in the state. DEP has previously issued 48 violations to Carrizo, which has paid more than $20,000 in fines.