Fort Worth-based XTO Energy will pay a $100,000 penalty related to a 13,000-gallon wastewater spill in Lycoming County, Penn., and will spend an estimated $20 million on its wastewater management in the Marcellus Shale, the U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday. The spill occurred in November 2010 and involved produced water that escaped through a tank's open valve. The federal regulators said XTO, a subsidiary of Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp., agreed to "a comprehensive plan to improve wastewater management practices to recycle, properly dispose of, and prevent spills," including a remote monitoring system at all permanent oil and gas production sites in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
XTO spokesman Alan Jeffers called the settlement "an appropriate resolution" and said it has largely implemented the wastewater containment strategy. He said the spill was cleaned up and produced no lasting environmental impact. Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection, which first discovered the spill, said it "closely monitored the soil remediation and continues to oversee mandatory ground and surface water monitoring by the company." It said the EPA needed to act first, but the DEP "has been preparing and fully intends to assess a significant civil penalty for this spill."
-- Jim Fuquay