Rice Energy Fined ~$400K by PA DEP for Not Asking “Mother May I?”

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has slapped Rice Energy and a couple of Rice’s subsidiary companies with a hefty fine of $393,500. Egads! Must be Rice did some very nasty things, right? Turns out most of the reason why the DEP fined Rice was for not playing “Mother May I?” with the DEP. In one case Rice installed a waterline between a well pad and an impoundment–without “Mother May I?” permission from the DEP. In another case Rice built a pipeline through a swamp (i.e. “wetland”) without getting DEP “Mother May I?” permission. And in yet another case Rice installed three waterlines under a creek instead of one. Rice’s midstream subsidiary was cited for “not using best management practices”–a severe no no for the DEP. Rice Midstream’s lack of management practice decorum led to a small incidence of erosion that briefly turned a creek brown. Call in the EPA! That’s your PA DEP hard at work for the people–always on the job ensuring those nasty drillers tow the line and pay big fines…

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