WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection today granted Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. approval to resume hydro fracturing operations on gas wells in Susquehanna County after the company complied with the terms of a Sept. 24 order to cease such work there.
“Cabot submitted an acceptable updated preparedness, prevention and contingency plan and an engineering study to the department on Oct. 6 that was reviewed and met the terms and conditions of the order,” said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell. “The department has sent Cabot written authorization to resume the hydro fracking of natural gas wells in Susquehanna County.”
The DEP’s Sept. 24 order stopped all hydro fracking operations at each site throughout the county in response to three separate spills in less than one week at the company’s Heitsman well in Dimock Township. About 8,000 gallons of a water/liquid gel mixture were lost during the spills, which polluted Stevens Creek and a nearby wetland.
The updated plan includes detailed instructions for employees and contractors to follow during a spill, including the names and phone numbers for Cabot contacts and state and county agencies.
(Must mean they're still gonna happen!)
In the engineering study, Cabot noted that the 240-foot elevation difference between the tank farm and the Heitsman well pad was greater than had been encountered at previous fracking locations, indicating that stronger equipment and a different water transfer system design may be needed.
Cabot also presented five administrative corrective measures and 12 engineering corrective measures in the engineering study, including requirements for contractors to certify that necessary preparedness, prevention and contingency plans are in place before work begins and that contractors perform and document hydrostatic integrity testing of all water transfer facility piping.
For more information, call 570-327-3659 or visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Oil and gas.
Editorial red by Splashdown.