Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Irresponsible Construction Practices to Cost Chesapeake Appalachia about $10 Million

Chesapeake Energy, one of the country’s biggest natural gas producers, is going to have to ante up for it's irresponsible construction practices. Federal penalties levied against Company subsidiary Chesapeake Appalachia will amount to an almost record breaking $3.2 million for clean water violations at fracking facilities in West Virginia.

Twenty-Seven West Virginia well sites need to be restored due to damage caused by construction activities and pollution that will cost Chesapeake Appalachia an additional $6.5 million. Makes you wonder if there's not some bespectacled bean counter at Chesapeake corporate who has figured that it would have cost more to do it the right way the first time and considers the $9.7 million total to actually be a cost savings in the long run. Not to mention the expediency of a shorter project completion time.

While most of the charges were related to fracking facilities, not one of them involved actual fracking. Donna Heron, spokeswoman for the EPA’s Mid-Atlantic region said “In doing the construction, that’s where they were discharging fill material into the wetlands and the streams. And that’s what the violations were about.”

The violations of the Clean Water Act involved discharges done without required Army Corps of Engineers permits, according to Tom Aluise, spokesman for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. West Virginia, a co-plaintiff in the settlement, will receive half of the civil penalty.