Pennsylvania pursues record $4.5M fine against Marcellus Shale driller over leaking waste pit

EnergyAssociated Press

Pennsylvania environmental regulators are pursuing a record $4.5 million fine against a gas driller over what they describe as a major case of pollution from a leaking waste pit.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday it is seeking the penalty against EQT Corp. Acting DEP Secretary Dana Aunkst says EQT has been uncooperative during the investigation and "fails to recognize the ongoing environmental harm" from its leaking impoundment in Duncan Township, Tioga County.

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The Pittsburgh-based company says it dealt promptly with the leak and accuses state regulators of trying to grab headlines. EQT is suing the agency over its interpretation of Pennsylvania's Clean Streams Law.

The impoundment held wastewater from the fracking process. Environmental regulators say more than 200 holes were found in the impoundment's lining. They say streams, springs, and vegetation were harmed.