Water Contamination by Natural Gas Drilling Operations, Audits Reveal Violations at 15 Sites

Natural gas producer Trans Energy reached a settlement with federal and state regulators over polluting streams and wetlands in Marion, Wetzel and Marshall counties.

Trans Energy, based in St. Marys, Pleasants County, will pay $3 million in penalties to be divided equally between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) – and $13 million to repair and address water resource impacts.

The streams and water sources affected drain into the Monongehela River in Marion and Monongalia Counties.

The agencies alleged that the company impounded streams and discharged sand, dirt, rocks and other materials into streams and wetlands at 15 sites without a federal permit to construct well pads, impoundments, road crossings, and other facilities related to natural gas extraction.

Read more: Charleston Gazette, “Trans Energy facing criminal charges over drilling pollution,” Ken Ward Jr., September 3, 2014.