Environment charges against Chesapeake
CHESAPEAKE Energy faces the threat of court action over a blowout at one of its Marcellus Shale wells. Maryland attorney general Douglas Gansler said the state plans to sue the Oklahoma City-based unconventional-gas player for breaching federal environmental regulations. The 19 April blowout saw thousands of gallons of flowback fluid, used in hydraulic fracturing (fracing), spill into a tributary of the Susquehanna River. Residents of nearby Leroy Township, in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, were evacuated as a precaution.
Chesapeake regained control of the well on 25 April. Gansler said: "Companies cannot expose citizens to dangerous chemicals that pose serious health risks to the environment and to public health. We are using all resources available to hold Chesapeake Energy accountable for its actions." The Susquehanna provides drinking water for about 6.2 million people in the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, Gansler said. Chesapeake has said that tests of local waterways carried out during and since the spill have shown a "limited and very localised environmental impact”.