The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday ordered XTO Energy, Inc. to cease and desist all earth disturbance activities associated with the Cratty Unit Project in Franklin Township, Butler County.
“XTO’s failure to obtain proper authorization before commencing earth disturbance activities at the truck area portion of the Cratty Unit Project violated state regulation and created a danger of pollution to the waters of the commonwealth,” DEP Deputy Secretary for the Office of Oil and Gas Management Scott Perry said.
XTO requested on two separate occasions during 2014 to begin the Cratty Unit Project, which would include drilling unconventional gas wells and constructing related facilities. In both applications to DEP, the company only defined the scope of the project to include activities at the well site.
XTO did not indicate within either application or any of the project’s other associated documents that it planned to conduct earth disturbance activities at the intersection of Election House Road and West Old Route 422 to create a truck access area.
Recently, XTO informed the department that the construction of a truck area was necessary in order for large trucks to access the well site. However, DEP inspectors determined that the company had already begun earth disturbance activity at the truck area without a permit or other authorization from the department.
The official order requires XTO to immediately cease all earth disturbance activities associated with the Cratty Unit Project and additional truck area, except those activities necessary to stabilize the area, until they have obtained all required permits and authorizations.Within five days, XTO must seed, mulch and/or take any other actions necessary to protect from accelerated erosion and sedimentation in all areas that have been impacted.