Norway’s Statoil was fined $223,000 by Ohio environmental regulators for a June 2014 fire at the Eisenbarth well pad in Monroe County.

Both the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) conducted reviews of the incident at the Statoil North America well pad.

ODNR’s investigation concluded that fluids left the well pad, a violation of state law, and that the company failed to “maintain operational control” on the well pad.

Fluids leaving the well pad also violated several Ohio EPA water-quality standards designed to protect aquatic life, the report said.

The agencies also found that Statoil disposed of brine fluid in an “unapproved method.”

“It was confirmed the fluids from the well pad depleted oxygen levels in the stream, negatively impacting aquatic life,” the Ohio EPA added.

About 25 residents living near the well pad were forced to evacuate during the blaze, the Columbus Dispatch said.

No injuries were reported.

Statoil will be fined $223,000 for the incident, with about $132,000 in fines tied to water contamination and about $41,000 related to marine life impacts, the Columbus Dispatch added.

The ODNR said the company can work with regulators to restart production at the well pad after the fines are paid.

Regulators added that the state plans to provide as much as $75,000 of the fines to local first responders to bolster response efforts.

“Ohio is demonstrating how state agencies can collaborate to solve problems as our oil and gas industry continues to grow. We’ll continue working to improve our safety protocols to be as efficient and effective as possible when responding to future incidents,” ODNR Director James Zehringer said.


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