Federal EPA Demands Answers from Chesapeake Energy on Well Blowout in Bradford County Last Week

Chesapeake Energy has successfully replaced a wellhead that was defective and had caused a blowout with fracking fluid escaping from a well in Leroy Township near Canton in Bradford County, PA last week. Over a two day period, fracking fluid ran over neighboring land and some of it into a nearby stream that empties into the Towanda Creek. (Read MDN’s original article on the blowout here.)

The PA State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is investigating the blowout and the potential environmental damage it may have caused. But that’s not good enough for the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA is now throwing its weight around. In a letter to Chesapeake citing the Clean Water Act and various other federal statutes, the EPA is demanding that Chesapeake provide a list of details to the EPA about the incident by May 9.

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PA Gov. Corbett Says “No” to Concept of Forced Pooling of Marcellus Shale Leases

Forced pooling happens when most landowners in an area have signed leases and want to allow drilling, but one or two have  not. If a landowner has not signed a lease but owns land situated between other land already leased, that landowner could be “forced” to allow drilling. The unwilling landowner would not be forced to allow a drill pad, but a driller on a neighboring piece of property would be allowed to drill underneath the landowner with a “minority interest.” Forced pooling is not currently allowed in Pennsylvania, and according to new Gov. Tom Corbett, it won’t be as long as he’s governor.

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