Energy Corporation of America has been charged with dozens of violations and paid over $50,000 in fines in Pennsylvania

Energy Corporation of America (ECA), which recently announced plans to drill 50 wells along the Beartooth Front and promised to bring “the Bakken to the Big Horns [and the Beartooths] … and fundamentally change these areas the way it has changed other areas of the United States,” has been charged with dozens of violations by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality since 2008, and has paid over $50,000 in fines.

The majority of the violations involve three offenses:

  • discharging pollutional material into the local waters
  • failing to adhere to erosion and sediment (E&S) control standards
  • failing to restore or cap abandoned wells

ECA representatives have made a point in local meetings of touting the company’s safety record. I guess ECA CEO John Mork meant it when he said he was going to bring the Bakken to the Beartooths, but if fundamentally changing the Beartooth Front means spilling frac water into our rivers, count me out.

This information below was obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection web site. This is what I have personally pulled out of the reports. I invite anyone to use the site to look more deeply, and I’ll be happy to publish new information.

ECA, I’m happy to give you space here on the blog to defend your safety record.

Date

Inspection type Nature of violation Penalty/
Fine
5/20/2008 Routine complete inspection Discharge of pollutional material to waters of Commonwealth $2400
7/14/2008 Routine complete inspection Excessive casing seat pressure Notice
8/7/2008 Complaint inspection Impoundment not structurally sound, impermeable, greater than 20” of seasonal high ground water table. Discharge of pollutional material to waters of Commonwealth; inadequate E&S plan $6000
9/3/2008 Compliance evaluation Discharge of pollutional material to waters of Commonwealth
3/17/2009 Routine complete inspection Discharge of pollutional material to waters of Commonwealth Notice
4/3/2009 Drilling alteration Failure to minimize accelerated erosion; fill side of pad not stabilized, primary sediment fence failing. Improperly installed sediment fence allowing runoff to flow freely. Runoff discharged into Little Trout Run. $3500
4/6/2009 Follow up inspection Deficiencies not corrected: accelerated erosion on fill side not stabilized; freeboard still not below 2 feet
5/15/2009 Routine complete inspection No E&S controls on site; the operator had disturbed approximately 2+ acres prior to this inspection without implementing E&S controls $4100
6/16/2009 Follow up inspection Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls. Failure to stabilize site until total site restoration
7/6/2009 Routine complete inspection Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls. Failure to stabilize site until total site restoration
7/7/2009 Routine complete inspection Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls, Failure to stabilize site until total site restoration. Potential for polluting substances reaching waters of the Commonwealth Notice
7/14/2009 Complaint inspection Failure to plug a well upon abandonment Notice
9/1/2009 Complaint inspection Failure to plug a well upon abandonment $6500
9/21/2009 Administrative file review Water sample from artesian flow of fluids revealed discharge of industrial waste to the ground. Fluid contained high levels of iron, manganese, aluminum. Fluids pooled around well head and production equipment and continued throughout a large portion of the site. It appears the artesian flow has been occurring for a long period of time.
11/18/2009 Complaint inspection Impoundment not structurally sound, greater than 20” of seasonal high ground water; potential for polluting substances reaching waters of the Commonwealth $19,950
3/1/2010 Routine Complete inspection Improperly lined pit ; Drilling w/in 100 ft of surface water or wetland w/o variance
3/16/2010 Routine Complete Completion Polluting substances allowed to discharge into waters of Commonwealth; failure to minimize erosion, maintain E&S controls, failure to stabilize site until total site restoration
6/2/2010 Complaint inspection Department observed multiple violations at the stream crossing location. Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, maintain E&S controls, failure to stabilize site until total site restoration; no E&S plan; polluting substances allowed to discharge into waters of the Commonwealth
12/1/2010 Complaint inspection Pumping and treating flowback/frac water at the site, and lost approximately 5 barrels of contaminated water. The water ran over the fill side of the site reaching the silt fence. Sediment has gotten through the E&S controls and needs to be addressed. $4239
12/2/2010 Compliance evaluation Discharge of pollutional material to waters of Commonwealth; failure to notify DEP of pollution incident; failure to properly treat residual waste; failure to adopt pollution prevention measures
12/6/2010 Routine completion Methane migrated to surface through cement in 9 5/8” annulus; failure to report defective, insufficient or improperly cemented casing w/in 24 hours or submit plan to correct w/in 30 days Notice
2/1/2011 Compliance evaluation Discharge of industrial waste to waters of Commonwealth without a permit Notice
2/3/2011 Compliance evaluation Discharge of industrial waste to waters of Commonwealth without a permit; recurring violation
2/8/2011 Administrative File Review Failure to submit well record within 30 days of completion of drilling $1000
4/1/2011 Routine completion Failure to restore well site within nine months after completion of drilling, failure to remove all pits, drilling supplies and equipment not needed for production Notice
11/3/2011 Follow up inspection Failure to implement and maintain BMPs in accordance with Chapter 102; failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement an E&S plan, maintain E&S controls, failure to stabilize site until total site restoration Notice
12/5/2011 Complaint inspection Failure to restore well site within nine months after completion of drilling, failure to remove all pits, drilling supplies and equipment not needed for production Notice
4/11/2012 Routine inspection Residual waste is mismanaged
5/4/2012 Complaint inspection Failure to take all necessary measures to prevent spill, inadequate diking, potential pollution Notice
6/13/2013 Routine complete inspection Failure to adopt pollution prevention measures required or prescribed by DEP by handling materials that create a danger of pollution
7/16/2013 Routine complete inspection Discharge of industrial waste to waters of Commonwealth without a permit
7/17/2013 Routine complete inspection Discharge of industrial waste to waters of Commonwealth without permit
7/18/2012 Routine complete inspection Discharge of industrial waste to waters of Commonwealth without a permit $4239
8/29/2012 Routine complete inspection Failure to take all necessary measures to prevent spill. Inadequate diking, potential pollution
11/13/2013 Administrative file review No control and disposal/PPC plan or failure to implement PPC plan
1/14/2014 Routine/Partial inspection Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls, failure to stabilize site until total site restoration Notice

About davidjkatz

The Moses family has lived on the Stillwater River since 1974, when George and Lucile Moses retired and moved to the Beehive from the Twin Cities. They’re gone now, but their four daughters (pictured at left, on the Beehive) and their families continue to spend time there, and have grown to love the area. This blog started as an email chain to keep the family informed about the threat of increased fracking activity in the area, but the desire to inform and get involved led to the creation of this blog.
Aside | This entry was posted in Community Organization, Politics and History, Fracking Information and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Energy Corporation of America has been charged with dozens of violations and paid over $50,000 in fines in Pennsylvania

  1. Arleen Boyd says:

    I am sure you saw this by 2018 they will know if they have no more water to sustain the boom and whatever else we might want to sustain. And — seems as if we already have enough drug culture to worry about —

    http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/investment-strategist-says-drugs-are-c urtailing-the-bakken-s-potential/article_c969164e-bf4e-50fa-af57-532badd97b7 4.html#.UvUHHAT26xg.email

    Thank you for all the work,

    Arleen

    From: Preserve the Beartooth Front Reply-To: Preserve the Beartooth Front Date: Friday, February 7, 2014 8:58 AM To: Arleen Boyd Subject: [New post] Energy Corporation of America has been charged with dozens of violations and paid over $50,000 in fines in Pennsylvania

    WordPress.com davidjkatz posted: “Energy Corporation of America (ECA), which recently announced plans to drill 50 wells along the Beartooth Front and promised to bring the Bakken to the Big Horns [and the Beartooths] and fundamentally change these areas the way it has changed other are”

  2. Gretchen Nolan says:

    Does our MT DEQ also provide such information on it’s website and how reliable is it? The Montana Board of Oil & Gas Conservation at the forum said that one can go to their office to examine their paper records if there was a questionL They do have a web site, but I’ve not seen the type of info you provide from Pennsylvania—no stats on violations that I could find.

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  12. @ This is a great information it can help me, thanks for sharing.

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