Gas driller to pay $1.9M for damage to wetlands, waterways
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — One of the most active natural gas exploration firms in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $1.9 million after it disclosed in 2014 that its construction work had damaged waterways and wetlands, without proper permits, according to paperwork filed in federal court on Wednesday.
Officials from Chesapeake Energy Corp. of Oklahoma City and federal and state environmental protection agencies signed the consent decree in December before it was filed in federal court in Williamsport.
The consent decree must go through a 30-day public comment period and requires court approval to take effect.
The consent decree said Chesapeake in 2014 disclosed possible violations in Beaver, Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties, including damming streams and filling in wetlands.
As part of the agreement, Chesapeake will either clean up the wetlands and waterways affected by its construction work, or seek a permit to offset the damage by improving another site elsewhere, the agencies said.
The state Department of Environmental Protection said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Chesapeake’s work applies to nearly 26 acres of wetlands and more than 2,300 linear feet of streams.
The two agencies will split the $1.9 million fine.