Thursday, December 15, 2022

DEP Assesses $600,000 Penalty For Illegal Disposal Of Over 1,800 Truck Loads Of Oil & Gas Waste Drill Cuttings In Fayette County

On December 15, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has executed a
$600,000 consent assessment of civil penalty (CACP) with John A. Joseph – individually and doing business as Joseph Contracting, John Joseph Contracting, and Perry Stone Supply LLC – to settle violations of the Solid Waste Management Act and Pennsylvania regulations that occurred between 2012 and 2015 in Dunbar, Perry, and South Union Townships, Fayette County. 

During its investigation, DEP found that Joseph directed employees of his trucking company to haul solid waste from the oil and gas operations, primarily drill cuttings, from sites in West Virginia to locations in Pennsylvania where he did not have a permit to dispose of the waste.

 The majority of the drill cuttings were dumped at sites owned or controlled by Joseph, while some ended up at sites where he had contracts to provide fill material.

Joseph also unlawfully burned debris such as wooden mats from the oil and gas operations on his property. 

Between June 1, 2013, and June 30, 2015, DEP estimated that Joseph caused or allowed 1,831 truckloads of solid waste from oil and gas operations in West Virginia to be disposed at sites in Pennsylvania without maintaining required transportation records or obtaining authorization or a permit from DEP. 

DEP collected samples from each of the five sites where Joseph deposited the drill cuttings. 

None of the samples indicated that contaminants were present at concentrations that would require remedial action under Pennsylvania residual waste regulations, and none showed any risk of harm to the public or environment from radiation. 

As part of this civil penalty settlement, DEP and Joseph have agreed to settle litigation related to other actions taken by the DEP in response to the disposal incidents. Joseph will pay a civil penalty of $600,000 to the Solid Waste Abatement Fund. 

Click Here for a copy of the consent assessment.

For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter, sign up for DEP Connects events, sign up for DEP’s eNotice, visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.

Related Articles This Week:

-- Better Path Coalition: 65 Organizations, Businesses, 2,700+ Individuals Petition Gov.-Elect Shapiro To Ban Road Dumping Of Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater  [PaEN]

-- DEP Consent Agreement Allowing Shale Gas Drilling To Resume Under Dimock, Susquehanna County Sets New Drilling, Water Supply Protection Standards, Imposes $444,000 Penalty  [PaEN]

-- Republican Herald/Scranton Times Editorial: DEP Professes Unwarranted Faith In Shale Gas Drillers  [PaEN]

-- DEP Issues Notice Of Violation To Shell Petrochemical Plant In Beaver County For Air Quality Violations In Sept. - Oct.  [PaEN]

-- Bloomberg: A Massive Natural Gas Leak In Pennsylvania Is Adding To Climate Scrutiny

-- EPA Accepts Final DEP Oil/Gas Facility VOC/Methane Emission Limits Regulation For Review, Stops Imposition Of Federal Highway Funding, Other Sanctions  [PaEN]

-- Ohio River Valley Institute Decarbonization Pathway Relies On Zero Emissions Resources, Energy Efficiency, Increased Electrification Is Less Costly Than Natural Gas, Carbon Capture Options  [PaEN]

-- CNX Unveils Appalachia-Focused Vision For The Future, Promoting New Natural Gas Development, Use - ‘Produce It Here. Use  It Here - First’  [PaEN]

[Posted: December 15, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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