Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DEP Fines Regency Marcellus Gas More Than $300,000 For Pipeline Construction Violations

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has fined Regency Marcellus Gas Gathering LLC of San Antonio, Texas, $306,570 for multiple violations of the Clean Streams Law, Dam Safety and Encroachment Act and state regulations during the construction of two natural gas pipelines in 2012 and 2013.
The pipeline construction was performed by PVR Marcellus Gas Gathering LLC of Williamsport, Lycoming County, which was later acquired by Regency.
“Many of these violations occurred over a significant period of time,” DEP Director of District Oil and Gas Operations John Ryder said. “We expect that Regency has made operational changes to avoid problems of this nature during future pipeline construction projects.”
Separated into two fines, the largest penalty of $275,000 was issued for numerous significant violations related to erosion and sedimentation during PVR’s construction of the Canton lateral natural gas pipeline in Lycoming and Tioga counties in 2012 and 2013.
Between October 2012 and June 2013, DEP staff conducted 18 inspections of several sections of the Canton pipeline and documented many violations related to inadequate erosion and sedimentation controls, unpermitted sediment discharges, stabilization issues and unpermitted encroachments at two stream crossings located in exceptional value watersheds.
At one crossing in Lycoming County, installation of the pipeline contrary to the DEP permit and approved site plans caused a severe stream encroachment in Little Elk Run, as well as the discovery of an unauthorized encroachment of an exceptional value forested wetland.
The department issued a compliance order to PVR on December 7, 2012, which required restoration of this area.
At another crossing in Tioga County, a significant slope failure led to ongoing sediment discharges into Brion Creek for several months before the problem was properly corrected.
DEP cited 39 violations at these two stream crossings during an eight month period, including violations of the Clean Streams Law, Dam Safety and Encroachment Act and DEP’s Chapter 102 and 105 regulations.
The second penalty of $31,570 was issued for multiple sediment discharges and various erosion and sedimentation control violations in Lick Run, an exceptional value watershed, and an unnamed tributary during PVR’s construction of the Wistar extension natural gas pipeline in Lycoming and Sullivan counties in April 2013.
PVR eventually corrected all violations. Regency paid the penalties on August 29.
For more information call 570-327-3636.

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