Two companies fined over deaths of Pa. salamanders

Two companies have resolved criminal charges they killed 169 salamanders in a 2015 spill of drilling wastes in Pennsylvania, Kallanish Energy learns.

Texas-based Anadarko E&P Onshore and Pennsylvania-based Oil States Energy Services earlier this month pleaded no contest in Lycoming County before District Judge Jerry Lepley to misdemeanor charges of disturbance and pollution of waterways. They were found guilty, although the companies denied guilt.

Under an agreement with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, each company will pay $10,000 to the Pennsylvania Fish Fund, plus $40,000 to the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy and pay restitution of $3,078. The state estimated the dead salamanders were worth $6,156.

The two Marcellus Shale companies were accused on polluting an unnamed tributary of Bonnell Run and Little Pine Creek in February 2015, when 1,050 gallons of drilling wastes overflowed from a storage tank into a ditch and the streams.

Oil States was reportedly Anadarko’s contractor for wastewater disposal from a six-well pad.

Contaminated soil around the well pad has been removed and the stream is being monitored.