Saturday, June 17, 2023

DEP Finds PA General Energy Installed Its Shawnee Water Withdrawal On The Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek At Sizes Larger Than Authorized By Its SRBC, DEP Permits

A June 14 DEP administrative inspection report filed on the
PA General Energy Company, LLC Shawnee Water Withdrawal for shale gas drilling operations on State Forest Land in Gamble and Plunketts Creek Townships, Lycoming County said “the buried intake vault, intake screen, wet well, and piping between intake and wet well of the Loyalsock/Shawnee Freshwater System project were all installed [last summer and fall] at sizes larger than what was proposed in the approved permit application E4129-133” in violation of Chapter 105 regulations.

“It is also a violation of the Dam Safety and Encroachment Act Section 18.(3) which states it is unlawful for any person to construct, enlarge, repair, alter any dam, water obstruction or encroachment contrary to the terms and conditions of a general or individual permit or the rules and regulations of the department.

“The work performed for this project was not according to the specifications of the permit which is a violation of 25 Pa. Code  105.44.”

The trigger for the inspection report was the fact that DEP received an email from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission on May 11, 2023 notifying the Department that PA General Energy Company, LLC submitted an application to the SRBC requesting changes to PGEs Shawnee water intake design.

“For the Department to review the project’s effect on health, safety and the environment as required by 25 Pa. Code  105.14, a major amendment to the approved Ch. 105 JPA E4129-133 must be submitted to the Department.” 

DEP directed the company to contact DEP’s Oil  and  Gas permitting department with any questions.

Apparently, any inspections done by DEP or the Susquehanna River Basin Commission during or immediately after construction of the water withdrawal failed to flag the fact the withdrawal was not being constructed according to its DEP and SRBC permits.

Plagued With Violations

The construction of PA General Energy Company’s Shawnee Water Withdrawal last summer on the Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek resulted in multiple Clean Streams Law violations, an out-of-court settlement with the Fish and Boat Commission for other violations and threatened the habitat of the rare Eastern Hellbender, Pennsylvania’s clean water ambassador.

The construction resulted in multiple, heavy sediment plumes as PA General Energy constructed the water withdrawal and related freshwater and natural gas pipelines on both sides of the Loyalsock to service planned unconventional shale gas well pads on DCNR State Forest Land.

Background On Violations In 2022:

-- Fish & Boat Commission Investigation Of Pollution From PA General Energy Natural Gas Development Construction Site On Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek Results In Settlement Agreement  [1.13.23]

-- Citizen Complaints Result In DEP Issuing PA General Energy More Violations At Loyalsock Creek Gas Pipeline/Water Withdrawal Construction Site In Lycoming County  [12.16.22] 

-- Bay Journal: Hellbender Habitat Slammed By Pollution From Shale Gas Development In PA's Loyalsock Creek - By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal  [12.8.22]

-- Rare Eastern Hellbender Habitat In Loyalsock Creek, Lycoming County Harmed By Sediment Plumes From Pipeline Crossings, Shale Gas Drilling Water Withdrawal Construction Projects  [9.15.22]

-- DEP: PA General Energy Cited For More Water Pollution Violations, Blocking The Whole Width Of Loyalsock Creek At Gas Pipeline/Water Withdrawal Construction Site In Lycoming County [10.28.22]

-- NO SPECIAL PROTECTION: The Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek In Lycoming County Is Dammed And Damned - Video Dispatch From The Loyalsock - By Barb Jarmoska, Keep It Wild PA [10.17.22]

-- DEP Issues 2 NOVs Against PA General Energy For Water Pollution Discharges Into The Loyalsock Creek From Gas Pipeline/Water Withdraw Construction In Lycoming County  [9.27.22] 

-- DEP, Fish & Boat Commission Investigate Multiple, Continuing Water Pollution Discharges From PGE Natural Gas Pipeline Construction Site On Loyalsock Creek, Lycoming County  [9.13.22]

-- Exceptional Value Water Quality Designation, State Forest Land, River Honors Were Not Enough To Protect Loyalsock Creek From Natural Gas Drilling & Pipelines In Lycoming County - By Friends Of The 'Sock   [9.7.22]

PA Oil & Gas Public Notice Dashboards:

-- Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - June 10 to 16 -- Leaking Conventional Wells; 5 More Abandoned Conventional Wells; Using Tape To Repair Containment Liner [PaEN]

-- DEP Finds PA General Energy Installed Its Shawnee Water Withdrawal On The Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek At Sizes Larger Than Authorized By Its SRBC, DEP Permits  [PaEN] 

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - June 17  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Posts 69 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In June 17 PA Bulletin  [PaEN] 

Related Articles This Week:

-- Robinson Twp., Washington County Seeks Answers To Cleanup Of MarkWest Liberty Midstream 10,000 Gallon Spill Of Natural Gas Condensates After Company Sends Notice To Wrong Municipality  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Invites Comments On MarkWest Liberty Midstream Project To Expose 1 Mile+ Of 2 Natural Gas Pipelines To Prevent Longwall Coal Mining Damage In Washington County  [PaEN]

-- DEP Posts Solicitation For Bids To Plug 23 Abandoned Conventional Oil & Gas Waste Injection Wells Owned By ARG Resources, Inc. And Pennzoil Company In Elk County  [PaEN] 

-- Casey, Fetterman Announce $5.5 Million In Federal Funding To Plug Abandoned Conventional Oil/Gas Wells In The Allegheny National Forest  [PaEN]

-- Bay Journal: Satellites, Drones, Special Cameras Join The Fight Against Methane/VOC Pollution From Oil/Gas Wells, Petrochemical Plants, Landfills, Coal Mines In Pennsylvania - By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal  [PaEN] 

-- PUC Vice Chairman: During Winter Storm Elliot We Learned Natural Gas Can Be An Intermittent Generator Of Electricity Just Like Renewables  [PaEN] 

-- S&P Global: Federal Inquiry Finds Same 3 Causes Driving U.S. Generate Outages In Extreme Cold - Reliability Of Natural Gas System Remains A Concern  [PaEN]   

[Posted: June 17, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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