Pennsylvania officials have fined Schlumberger and Chesapeake Energy each $15,557 for a 295-gallon hydrochloric acid spill at a natural gas drilling site earlier this year:
“Fortunately, this hazardous waste spill was promptly reported, which proved critical in limiting the environmental damage,” said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell.
The acid was being used for hydraulic fracturing at the drill site, a process that has concerned many in Pennsylvania in New York as natural gas drilling has expanded into those states in the past two years. Acid typically makes up less than .2 percent of the total volume of hydraulic fracturing fluids, according to a study done for the Department of Energy by ALL Consulting of Oklahoma.
The leak, discovered by the companies on Feb. 9 was contained and cleaned up within days. About 126 tons of contaminated soil had to be excavated. The leak did not contaminate ground water, said DEP spokesman Dan Spadoni, in the story.