The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement Thursday with PDC Mountaineer Drilling (PDCM) in Bridgeport, W.Va. The settlement includes a $177,000 fine for destroying wetlands and streams near a site on Stone Pot Road in Mount Clare, according to a news release from the EPA.
The Clean Water Act (CWA) administrative consent agreement and final order (CAFO) will resolve violations involving construction activities at Marcellus Shale gas extraction facilities.
The settlement requires PDCM to pay a $177,500 penalty. The company will also restore and/or complete mitigation projects at four sites pursuant to three separate CWA administrative orders incorporated into the CAFO, according to the news release.
The EPA conducted two site inspections in December of 2011, and in March of 2012, at the D'Annunzio Well Pad and the Hudkins Well Pad in Harrison County.
Officials said PDC failed to apply for or receive a Section 404 permit, which requires persons wishing to discharge fill materials into wetlands or streams to obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Additional information provided by the company also indicated more violations along two pipeline courses, which ultimately transports gas extracted by PDCM.
The unpermitted activities at the site included the filling, relocating and placement of culverts in streams and the filling of wetlands. Officials said the violations resulted in undesirable impacts to nearly an acre of emergent and forested wetlands.
Officials said there are also permanent damages to more than 1,500 feet of stream, as well as temporary damage to more than 3,000 feet of streams.
The wetlands and streams that were affected ultimately flow into the West Fork River, which is part of the Monongahela River Basin.
The company did not admit to violating the CWA, as part of the settlement.
Visit http://www.epa.gov/owow/ for more information about wetlands and permitting requirements.