HARRISBURG - The Department of Environmental Protection has assessed a $22,000 penalty against Steckman Ridge LP for two illegal oil discharges in August and October 2009 at the Clearville Quarles Compressor Station in Monroe Township, Bedford County.
During compressor shutdowns on Aug. 23 and Oct. 26, natural gas was vented into the atmosphere. Malfunctions allowed lubricating oil to mix with the natural gas as it was vented and the oil was atomized into the atmosphere. The oil emissions reached surrounding properties and a nearby pond, which constituted violations of the company’s air plan approval, the Air Pollution Control Act, and Clean Streams Law. The company also failed to notify the DEP of the incidents as required by department regulations.
“While both incidents were accidental, the discharges violated environmental law,” said DEP South-central Regional Director Rachel Diamond. “By waiting for up to two days to report the incidents to the DEP, the company failed to act in a responsible manner protective of the public’s health and safety and the environment.”
The company hired an environmental firm to cleanup the affected neighboring sites and pond, and to test a local drinking water well to determine if it had been contaminated. All cleanup activities have been completed.
The DEP issued notices of violation to Steckman Ridge for both incidents.
For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, or call 717-705-4700.