Chesapeake Energy Appalachia (CAALC) was ordered to pay a $1.4 million fine on Monday tied to a 2011 landslide at a Pennsylvania well pad.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said the fine covers violations of Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act, Clean Streams Law and Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.
As part of the settlement, the company will also restore waterways affected by the slide.
The landslide occurred at the well pad of the Stinger 8H gas well in Aleppo Township Greene County on September 15, 2011.
The slide impacted seven unnamed tributaries of Harts Run, the DEP said.
Sediment from the slide also filled more than a quarter-mile of streams below the well pad.
“DEP expects oil and gas operators to make all possible efforts to prevent violations from occurring and, if they do occur, to make timely efforts to restore all impacted resources,” DEP’s Director for Oil and Gas Operations John Ryder said.
Although CALLC immediately began efforts to temporarily stabilize the site after the incident, the company was not able to complete permanent stabilization until July 26, 2014.
The DEP said it closely monitored the company’s efforts but CALLC and the agency could not initially agree on the actions needed to permanently restore the affected streams.
As part Monday’s agreement, the DEP and CALLC now have a permanent plan and schedule for the company to complete restoration work on the impacted waterways.
CALLC began addressing issues at the site in March 2012, with the company filing a plan to clean up the impacted streams, then to permanently stabilize the well pad slide area.
The stabilization plan was accepted by the DEP and in September 2013 work began on the permanent stabilization project.
“While much of the work has been completed at the site, the COA stipulates that CALLC must remove the remaining sediment and stabilize the banks of the headwater tributaries to Harts Run by December 31, 2015,” the DEP said.
The company has until September 30, 2016 to complete restoration work of the Harts Run tributaries and improvements to an off-site stream.
If CALLC fails to comply with the stream restoration schedules, the DEP said additional penalties will be assessed.
CALLC no longer operates the Stinger 8H well.
The well is now controlled by Rice Drilling B, LLC, the DEP added.