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Equitrans To Pay Fine For Gas Release In 2022

It was listed in a Bloomberg Report as topping the list of the worst U.S. Climate disasters of 2022.

Over a billion cubic feet of Natural Gas released into the atmosphere by a local facility.

They’re now facing Civil penalties from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Reporter Stoker Wieczorek has more.

“I really don’t think it comes anywhere close to meeting what needs to be done.”

A new Civil penalty being faced by the natural gas company Equitrans for their role in the release of over a billion cubic feet of natural gas, in Cambria County.

A total of 1.1 million dollars which includes $764,000 in accordance with Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas and Solid Waste Laws and $350,000 for air quality violations

It happened at the Equitrans Rager Mountain Facility in Jackson Township, in November of 2022 lasting a total of 13 days.

The sound of venting gas could be heard from miles away eventually being stopped on November 20th with a cement plug, according to officials.

They say the gas released included 223 tons of Carbon Dioxide and more than 27-thousand tons of Methane

Former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary David Hess says $1.1 million dollars is the highest amount of money that the D.E.P. Could order Equitrans to pay for the incident.

Hess says he believes this civil penalty is not enough to deter future companies, from continuing to violate environmental regulations.

“1.1 billion cubic feet of Natural Gas was certainly the biggest thing I think the D.E.P. Has ever faced in terms of gas storage areas. And I don’t think it was something that was contemplated frankly by our State laws.”

Hess is commending local responders for their actions.

“Trying to see if there were any impacts in the houses that were closest by, and I don’t think they found any, which is a good thing.”

The D.E.P. Released a statement Tuesday, saying quote

“The department is committed to holding operators accountable, and we will continue monitoring the environmental impacts of this incident to ensure Pennsylvanians’ health and safety.”

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