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PA Fines Gas Pipeline Builder

Friday, March 8, 2019

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Rice Midstream Holdings LLC (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania) has agreed to a $1.5 million fine for the failure to prevent sedimentation and erosion into streams during the construction of a natural gas gathering pipeline system in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Beta Trunk Pipeline, now owned by Equitrans Midstream Corp. (Pittsburgh), is approximately 7.5 miles long within a larger Beta System that transports natural gas from several well pads to transmission facilities.

The state Department of Environmental Protection accessed the violations that occurred in Aleppo and Richhill townships in 2017 and 2018, before the sale to Equitrans.

In October 2017, Rice and the DEP reported and confirmed that sediment-laden water had overwhelmed various tributaries to Mudlick Fork and Harts Run. It was stated by the DEP that best management practices were ill-maintained or never installed.

Subsequent inspections showed similar violations throughout January, February and March months in 2018. In conclusion, Rice voluntarily shut down construction of new pipeline sections and redirected resources to the remediation of unstable areas, resolving these violations on April 30, 2018.

In May 2018, Rice also reported three slope failures within and outside the pipeline’s permitted limit of earth disturbance. These violations were corrected July 5, 2018, and in December, the DEP approved a permit modification to repair the slope failures.

The consent agreement between the DEP and Rice was released last week.

Moving forward, Equitrans plans to work directly with the DEP to help resolve these issues.

   

Tagged categories: Environmental Controls; Environmental Protection; NA; North America; Oil and Gas; Pipeline; Pipelines; Program/Project Management; Violations

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