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Pennsylvania fines WPX $1.2M for 2012 water contamination

by Erika Green

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced WPX Energy Appalachia has agreed to pay a $1.2 million fine for oil and gas violations that impacted groundwater and private water supplies in Westmoreland County, Kallanish Energy reports.

“When leaks and other impacts do occur, the responsible party must remediate the damage and restore the resource,” said acting DEP secretary Patrick McDonnell, in a statement.

In September 2012, testing of five private water supplies indicated they were impacted by a leak from an on-site impoundment into the groundwater at the Kalp wellsite in Donegal Township, the state said.

The impoundment was drained within a week of the leak being discovered, the state agency said.

The affected households were provided with bottled water and treatment systems have been installed. DEP is regularly evaluating those systems to ensure the drinking water is safe.

The civil penalty was paid into the state’s well plugging fund with the $1.2 million based on the impact to the water supplies and the severity of the leak, DEP said.

WPX must also deal with remediation of any contaminated soils, groundwater and surface water impacted by the leak under Pennsylvania laws.

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