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Marcellus shale gas drilling
XTO Energy Inc., a division of Exxon, has been charged with five counts of unlawful conduct under the Clean Streams Law and three counts under the Solid Waste Management Act:
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), the world’s largest energy company, was charged with illegally dumping more than 50,000 gallons (189,000 liters) of wastewater at a shale-gas drilling site in Pennsylvania.

Exxon unit XTO Energy Inc. discharged the water from waste tanks at the Marquandt well site in Lycoming County in 2010, according to a statement on the website of Pennsylvania’s attorney general. The pollution was found during an unannounced visit by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

The inspectors discovered a plug removed from a tank, allowing the wastewater to run onto the ground, polluting a nearby stream. XTO was ordered to remove 3,000 tons of soil to clean up the area. Wastewater discharged from natural-gas wells can contain chlorides, barium, strontium and aluminum, the attorney general’s statement showed.

XTO Energy representatives are protesting the charges, saying enforcement of these rules will only discourage gas and oil companies from proper recycling:
“Charging XTO under these circumstances could discourage good environmental practices,” the company said in its statement. “This action tells oil and gas operators that setting up infrastructure to recycle produced water exposes them to the risk of significant legal and financial penalties should a small release occur.”

So, being forced to do the right thing is less likely to make them voluntarily do the right thing. Got it.

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pittsburgh Area Kossacks, Philly Kos, and DKos Pennsylvania.

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