DEP cites two drilling companies

BY CHRISTOPHER HONG
Times-Shamrock Writer

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued violations to two natural gas companies with facilities in Susquehanna and Wyoming counties.
DEP claims Williams Field Service and PVR Marcellus Gas Gathering failed to notify the agency of equipment malfunctions within 24 hours, according to the violations. Williams Field Service owns a production facility in Bridgewater and Brooklyn townships, and PVR Marcellus Gas Gathering owns the Chapin station production facility in Monroe Twp.
DEP cited a Sept. 30 emergency shutdown at the Monroe Twp. facility that the company failed to properly report. The Susquehanna County facility was cited for failing to properly report a valve malfunction that resulted in a methane leak. DEP spokeswoman Colleen Connolly said subsequent tests did not find unsafe levels of gas or chemicals in the air.
The violations require the companies to submit plans on how they will prevent similar incidents from reoccurring, Ms. Connolly said. If the companies comply, the DEP will not issue a fine.
The Monroe Twp. facility experienced another malfunction on Nov. 23. Residents were awoken early in the morning by a thundering noise as more than 5 million cubic meters of gas spewed into the air. Ms. Connolly said the company properly notified the DEP and was not cited for that incident.