DEP fines pipeline company $1.5 million for damaging Butler County wetlands

  • Susan Phillips

Natural gas gathering lines in Bradford County.

Natural gas gathering lines in Bradford County. A company building a gathering line system in Butler County has agreed to pay $1.5 million fine for allowing sediment to run into a stream and wetlands.

A company constructing a pipeline system in Butler County to connect gas wells to a processing plant will pay $1.5 million for causing a landslide into a stream, and discharging sediment in to a wetland. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says Stonehenge Appalachia has entered a consent order with the agency and agreed to pay the fine.
“This type of man-made ecological impact is both egregious and avoidable, and never should have occurred,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “By this action, Stonehenge accepts both environmental and financial responsibility for their actions.”
Stonehenge incurred the violations while building an 18-mile gathering line for the State College based independent producer Rex Energy, which plans to transport the gas to MarkWest Energy’s Bluestone Processing facility in Evans City.
DEP says between November 2015 and March 2016, Stonehenge allowed sediment to enter a stream and fill two wetlands. The company also discharged “significant drilling fluids, including bentonite clay” into waterways.

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