The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced Stonehenge Appalachia LLC, has entered into a Consent Order and Agreement that includes a $1.5 million civil penalty assessment for having uncontrolled and unpermitted sediment discharges into wetlands and causing a landslide into a stream in Butler County.
“This type of man-made ecological impact is both egregious and avoidable, and never should have occurred,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “By this action, Stonehenge accepts both environmental and financial responsibility for their actions.”
In March 2016, DEP issued a Cease and Desist Order to Stonehenge and its contractors for violating environmental regulations at various stream and wetland crossings an along 18-mile pipeline in Butler County.
The violations took place between November 2015 and March 2016. Stonehenge appealed the Orders.
The DEP determined that Stonehenge caused uncontrolled and unpermitted discharges of sediment along the 18-mile pipeline, caused a large landslide of sediment into a stream, and filled two wetlands with sediment.
The company’s pipeline directional boring activities also discharged significant drilling fluids, including bentonite clay into waters of the Commonwealth.
These activities violate the 2012 Oil and Gas Act, Clean Stream Law, Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, and the Solid Waste Management Act.
The Consent Order and Agreement documents the restoration and mitigation activities that have been taken by Stonehenge to address the violations and outlines additional restoration obligations.
The $1.5 million civil penalty is assessed under the 2012 Oil and Gas Act, Clean Streams Law, the Dam Safety and Encroachment Act, and the Solid Waste Management Act.
As part of the Consent Order and Agreement, Stonehenge will withdraw the appeal of the DEP Orders and the DEP will continue the review of the permit applications submitted by Stonehenge for pipeline projects in Butler County.
Stonehenge’s Butler County pipeline projects will gather and compress natural gas from multiple wells in various townships in Butler County, and will then deliver the gas to a local processing plant.