May 13, 2011

EPA Seeks Information from Natural Gas Drilling Operations

Officials require more disclosures to ensure the safety of wastewater disposal

Environmental Protection Agency officials Thurdsay directed six natural gas drillers to disclose how and where the companies dispose of or recycle drilling process water in the region. Officials continue to work with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to ensure that natural gas production takes place safely and responsibly.
These actions are among ongoing steps EPA officials are taking to ensure drilling operations are protective of public health and the environment. Natural gas is a key part of our nation’s energy future and officials will continue to work with federal, state and local partners to ensure that public health and the environment are protected.

EPA officials voiced the request after state agency workers asked drillers to voluntarily stop taking wastewater to Pennsylvania wastewater treatment plants by May 19. EPA officials want to know where drillers are now going to dispose of their wastewater and will work with state officials to ensure they have access to this information. The companies must report back to the EPA by May 25 with information on the disposal or recycling of their drilling process water.

The companies receiving the information requests are: Atlas Resources LLC, Talisman Energy USA, Range Resources–Appalachia LLC, Cabot Gas and Oil Corp., SWEPI LP, and Chesapeake Energy Corp. These six companies account for more than 50% of the natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.