CNX Resources Clipped $433.5K for Groundwater Violations in SWPA

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has fined CNX Resources (formerly CONSOL Energy/CNX Gas) $433,500 for violations at four shale well sites in Greene County, PA. The violations, which happened in 2015/2016, include failure to control and dispose of wastewater properly and failure to prevent erosion. Some of the flowback/wastewater ended up in a small stream called Jacobs Run. We always find the language of these announcements by the DEP somewhat strange: “CNX Gas Company, LLC (CNX) has agreed to two civil penalties totaling $433,500 for violations at well sites in Greene County.” Really? The company getting fined has to “agree” to accept the fine? Apparently we don’t fully understand how regulatory agencies work in PA. What if CNX didn’t agree to the fine? Would the DEP come back with a lower amount, “Will you accept this fine instead?” But we digress. CNX themselves noticed the problems and self-reported the violations. After doing so, they fired two of the service companies they were using. The unnamed service companies were obviously guilty of cutting corners that resulted in improper disposal of wastewater. Interesting factoid: Half of all the wells CNX has drilled in PA are located in Greene County…

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