Thursday, April 1, 2010

DEP Fines Steckman Ridge $22,000 for Air, Water Quality Violations

Malfunctioning Compressor Discharged Industrial Oil to Surrounding Properties
(Splashdown calculates the fine at less than $2.72/lb. of contaminating substances... cheaper than chop meat)*

Dept. of Environmental Protection

Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120


John Repetz, Department of Environmental Protection South-central Regional Office

HARRISBURG -- The Department of Environmental Protection has assessed a $22,000 penalty against Steckman Ridge LP for two unpermitted oil discharges in August and October 2009 at the Clearville Quarles Compressor Station in Monroe Township, Bedford County.

During compressor shutdowns on Aug. 23 and Oct. 26, natural gas was vented into the atmosphere. Malfunctions allowed lubricating oil to mix with the natural gas as it was vented and the oil was atomized into the atmosphere. The oil emissions reached surrounding properties and a nearby pond, which constituted violations of the company’s air plan approval, the Air Pollution Control Act, and Clean Streams Law. The company also failed to notify DEP of the incidents as required by department regulations.

“While both incidents were accidental, the discharges violated environmental law,” said DEP South-central Regional Director Rachel Diamond. “By waiting for up to two days to report the incidents to DEP, the company failed to act in a responsible manner protective of the public’s health and safety and the environment.”

The company hired an environmental firm to cleanup the affected neighboring sites and pond, and to test a local drinking water well to determine if it had been contaminated. All cleanup activities have been completed.

DEP issued notices of violation to Steckman Ridge for both incidents.

For more information, visit, or call 717-705-4700.

Splashdown Flashback:

Thursday, February 11, 2010 report of the compressor station mishap:
Natural Gas Compressor Station Coats Farmland in Used Gear Oil
by NastassjaNoell | 02.10.2010

Spectra Energy's Steckman Ridge Natural Gas Compressor Station sprayed up to 1,629 pounds of used lubricating oil onto fertile farmland and residential property in rural Pennsylvania; crops had to be burned to prevent toxic contamination of consumers. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has misinformed residents for the past six months that the oil residents found coating their blueberries, tomatoes, hay fields is non-toxic Omala Oil RL 320, but laboratory tests indicate the oil is definitively *not* Omala Oil RL 320.

A contamination report recently obtained by Philadelphia Indymedia states that up to 1,629 pounds of used gear-lubricating oil were spilled onto residences and farm fields in Bedford County, Pennsylvania this past August. Despite the presence of this report in Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) files, officials are maintaining to residents and the press that only 20 gallons of gear oil was released, additionally misleading the public to believe that the oil is non-toxic Omala Oil RL 320.

*In addition to the 1,629 pounds of used lubricating oil ... 6,460 pounds of methane (including 1,151 pounds of volatile organic compounds) were sprayed into the air and estimated to have landed up to one and a half miles from the plant, coating a very fertile agricultural, fishing and hunting region of Pennsylvania with potentially toxic industrial gear oil.

Read the complete report HERE.


No comments:

Post a Comment


Natural gas development in Colorado, the impacts on communities, environment and public health. A primer for public servants and residents of counties that care for their lifestyles.

Drilling for Gas in Bradford County, PA ... Listen!

Cattle Drinking Drilling Waste!

EPA... FDA... Hello? How many different ways are we going to have to eat this? ... Thank you TXSharon for all you do! ... Stay tuned in at


A film by Txsharon. Thank you Sharon for all you do. Click HERE to read the complete article on Bluedaze: Landfarms: Spreading Toxic Drilling Waste on Farmland

SkyTruth: Upper Green River Valley - A View From Above