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Chesapeake Energy Fined for Pennsylvania Water Contamination, Fire at Fracking Site | cialis online

Chesapeake Energy Fined for Pennsylvania Water Contamination, Fire at Fracking Site

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The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined Chesapeake Energy Corp. $1.1 million for contaminating drinking water and causing a fire that injured three workers. Chesapeake Energy is one of several energy companies that is performing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Pennsylvania.

The agency fined Chesapeake $900,000 for contaminating water supplies in Bradford County, and $188,000 for causing a tank fire during natural gas drilling operations. According to Reuters, this is the largest fine ever imposed against a company drilling in the Marcellus shale gas formation. “The water well contamination fine is the largest single penalty DEP has ever assessed against an oil and gas operator,” stated Mike Krancer, secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection.

In 2010, DEP conducted an investigation after receiving complaints from residents about contamination of water wells near a Chesapeake drilling site. The agency concluded the contamination due to improper casing and cementing, which allowed natural gas to seep into the groundwater. The private wells supplied drinking water to 16 families in five Bradford County towns.

Under a court-monitored order, Chesapeake agreed to pay the fine, improve its cementing and casing practices, repair damaged wells and report complaints of contaminated water supplies.

Chesapeake is also accused of improperly handling condensate, a liquid form of natural gas. reported the tank fire arose during testing of a well near Pittsburgh. The order also requires that the company provide the DEP with a plan for future wells using condensate.

The fine imposed is drawing attention to the current controversy surrounding hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking. The process is used to extract natural gas from underground shale formations and involves the mix of water, hazardous chemicals, and sand blasted into the rock. Public criticism of the process is based on findings that drilling can contaminate nearby drinking wells.

In April, Chesapeake suspended drilling for three weeks after a well blowout. The blowout spewed thousands of gallons of chemical-laced water into local waterways and led to the evacuation of families. According to, the company said equipment failure during fracking caused the spill.

The Marcellus shale gas formation is estimated to hold enough natural gas to meet U.S. demand for a decade or more says Reuters.

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