State probing second spill at Marcellus Shale well

February 21, 2012 6:58 am

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The state Department of Environmental Protection was continuing its investigation of the second spill of condensate fluids in three months at a Chevron-Appalachia Marcellus Shale gas well operation in Robinson, Washington County.

John Poister, a DEP spokesman, said Sunday that the spilled condensate -- a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons or "wet gases" and drilling fluids -- was discovered Thursday by a township employee inspecting a nearby facility that separates the fluids from the natural gas. The spilled liquid had run into Bigger Run Creek, a tributary of Raccoon Creek. He had no information about whether fish or aquatic life were killed, but cleanup crews placed absorbent material in the creek on Friday.

Mr. Poister didn't know how much condensate was spilled and said the DEP is trying to determine the amount and the cause. Department investigators were at the scene Friday and planned on returning this week.

Mr. Poister said Chevron-Appalachia is continuing remediation work that started in December, when the first condensate spill occurred, and has dug up and filled more than 10 Dumpsters with contaminated soil. The DEP has not issued a violation notice for that spill.

First Published 2012-02-20 23:30:15

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