Diesel Fuel Spill at Drilling Site in Green County, PA

Last December, about 480 gallons of diesel fuel leaked onto the ground at a well site in Patterson Run (Greene County), PA. EQT, the driller at the site, notified the state DEP and the National Response Center. The spill was quickly cleaned up, within 24 hours, and there were no environmental impacts following the spill. However, local officials are only just now learning about the spill, and that makes them upset.

…EQT Corp., the parent company of Equitable Gas Co., spilled 480 gallons of diesel in Center Township in December, according to John Poister, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection. The spill occurred when diesel fuel was being transferred out of a temporary fuel tank, he said.

The spill is coming to light nearly three months later because, Poister said, the DEP is not required to notify local municipalities or alert the public. The entity responsible for the spill in such cases is required to notify the DEP, which EQT did, Poister said.

"Apparently, a worker was emptying fuel from this tank into a smaller tank at night and didn’t realize it was leaking," said Poister.

However, officials in Center and Morris, where Patterson Run is located, said they should have been notified by either the DEP or company.

"Absolutely … the township and the fire department should have been notified of that in case it was a problem," said Edward "Butch" Deter, chairman of the township’s board of supervisors, who is also president of the Center Township Volunteer Fire Department, Co. 91.

Most of the spill was cleaned within 24 hours using soil excavation, liquid vacuuming and absorbent pads, EQT spokeswoman Karla Olsen said.

"Soil and stream sample results collected Dec. 9 indicated that no impacts remained in the excavated areas or the surface waters downstream from the spill location," she said.*

*Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Mar 7, 2012) – Diesel fuel spill in Greene County spurs state investigation