Friday, July 6, 2012

4,700 Gallons of Acid Spill at PA Drilling Site

The following statement was issued by Chief Oil and Gas regarding an acid spill in Bradford County, Pennsylvania:

An HCL release of appx 4,700 gal­lons occurred at appx 1pm on July 4 at the Yoder well site in Leroy Twp, Brad­ford Co. The release was dis­cov­ered by per­son­nel on site. DEP and the Brad­ford County EMS were noti­fied and response mea­sures were imple­mented. It is impor­tant to note that the major­ity of the release, around 4,000 gal­lons was held to the ini­tial con­tain­ment area on the pad site. All pad sites are lined with a thick plas­tic so any inad­ver­tent release of flu­ids can be reme­died at the pad site. Appx 700–800 gal­lons left the ini­tial con­tain­ment area and trav­eled into a sed­i­ment pond, which is designed as an addi­tional safety mea­sure to con­tain any runoff from the pad site. Appx 50 gal­lons left the sed­i­ment pond but appears to have remained local­ized to a small plunge pool next to the sed­i­ment pond.
The appro­pri­ate clean up crews were quickly dis­patched and are on site work­ing. Addi­tional berms of pre­cau­tion­ary pro­tec­tion were put in place as crews were neu­tral­iz­ing and vac­u­um­ing the pond. The release was quickly con­tained and cleanup is near com­ple­tion. After cleanup is com­plete, any needed reme­di­a­tion effors will be deter­mined and that work will begin.
There were no drilling or frac­ing oper­a­tions tak­ing place at the time of the release. Landown­ers in the imme­di­ate area were noti­fied, how­ever there was never an issue of safety.
The release is under inves­ti­ga­tion by Frac Tech, Chief and the DEP, but it appears that a valve on the back of the tanker con­tain­ing the HCL was found par­tially open which resulted in the release.
There is no evi­dence that any runoff entered Towanda Creek and all pH read­ings have been nor­mal. DEP and the Fish and Boat Com­mis­sion have been on site and, along with Chief, are con­tin­u­ing to mon­i­tor. There were a few dead min­nows observed, local­ized in the small plunge pool, but there was no evi­dence of HCL and nor­mal pH read­ings and live fish were noted fur­ther down­stream in the trib­u­tary that leads to Towanda Creek. And again, no evi­dence of any runoff into Towanda Creek. Chief and DEP will con­tinue to take read­ings and monitor.
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