Company Paying $99,000 Civil Penalty for Air Quality Violations

The agency reported since 2013, Cabot had excess emissions of natural gas from 267 pneumatic controllers at well sites and did not submit complete compliance demonstration reports for 20 gas wells.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced Dec. 4 it has reached an agreement with Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. of Delaware for the company to pay a $99,000 civil penalty for air quality violations stemming from its equipment at natural gas wells throughout Susquehanna County, Pa. The violations include excess emission rates of natural gas and failing to submit operational and compliance reports in a timely manner.

"DEP enforces regulations to ensure that there are not harmful impacts to public health and the environment," said Mike Bedrin, director of DEP's Northeast Regional Office in Wilkes-Barre. "DEP will hold any operators that violate those regulations accountable."

Cabot, which has acknowledged the violations, has taken corrective measures to come into compliance, DEP announced. The agency reported since 2013, Cabot had excess emissions of natural gas from 267 pneumatic controllers at well sites. These controllers are automated instruments used for maintaining conditions such as liquid levels, pressure, and temperature. The levels exceeded 6 cubic feet per hour of natural gas, a level above EPA national standards.

Cabot also did not submit complete compliance demonstration reports for 20 gas wells. The agency said the company violated the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and Federal New Source Performance Standards.

The civil penalty will be paid to the department's Clean Air Fund, which is used to fund air quality programs.

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