Tuesday, April 7, 2020

DEP Settlement With CNX For E&S Violations In Greene, Washington Counties Yields $180,000 Streambank, Fish Habitat Project

On April 7, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has executed a consent order and agreement with CNX Gas Company, LLC to address numerous violations of the operator’s erosion and sediment control authorizations at unconventional natural gas well sites in Greene and Washington Counties. 
In lieu of collecting a civil penalty, DEP has accepted CNX’s proposal for a $180,000 streambank stabilization and the installation of fish habitat structures, in addition to correcting and remediating the damage from the violations.
Erosion and sediment control general permit authorizations allow earth disturbance for the construction of well sites and related facilities. Permit requirements include the use of erosion and sediment control and stormwater management best management practices (BMPs) and overall stability.
At the sites below, CNX failed to take required measures to ensure that these sites were constructed in a manner to prevent off-site sediment discharges. These measures include failing to implement or maintain BMPs, failing to stabilize the sites, and failing to install post construction stormwater BMPs. 
CNX’s failure to follow its authorizations and to maintain these sites resulted in the sites not being adequately stabilized, which caused sediment runoff from these sites—in some instances—discharges into waters of the Commonwealth. 
Violations were found at the following sites:
-- MOR30 in East Finely Township, Washington County,
-- MOR31 in East Finely Township, Washington County,
-- MOR40 in Richhill Township, Greene County,
-- RHL22 in Richhill Township, Greene County,
-- RHL27 in Richhill Township, Greene County, 
-- RHL28 in Richhill Township, Greene County, and  
-- NV35 in South Franklin Township, Washington County.   
In several instances, CNX failed to notify the department of its operative or ineffective BMPs.
The violations have since been corrected. 
DEP accepted CNX’s proposal to fund a community environmental project in Nottingham Township, Washington County in lieu of a civil penalty. 
CNX will provide no less than $180,000 toward 2,500 linear feet of streambank stabilization and installation of fish habitat structures along and within Mingo Creek, a high-quality trout stocked fishery that flows through the eponymous county park.
 Completion of this project is expected to improve the environment through a reduction in sediment deposits entering Mingo Creek, significantly increase recreational opportunities by providing additional access for trout fishing and improve the overall aesthetics of Mingo Creek County Park. 
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is the proposed entity to perform the stream work.
Click Here for a copy of the COA with details on the specific violations—that occurred between July 2017 and September 2018—and the corrective measures already taken by CNX.
Media questions should be directed to Lauren Fraley, 412-442-4203 or send email to: lfraley@pa.gov
[Posted: April 7, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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