EIP Report: Anadarko Safety Record Unsuitable For Major Natural Gas
Development In Pennsylvania's Loyalsock State Forest
Not a Steward for Pristine Forest: Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Cited for
246 Violations from 2009-2013; Water Pollution Record Ranks 7th Worst Among
600 Operators in Pennsylvania
EIP Report on behalf of Save the Loyalsock Coalition
PITTSBURGH and WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2014
PITTSBURGH and WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A plan by
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for major drilling and development of natural
gas in Pennsylvania's unspoiled Loyalsock State Forest should raise major
caution flags given the company's long list of pollution and compliance
problems over the last five years, according to a new report by the
Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) discussed today in a telephone press
event hosted by PennFuture.
EIP conducted the analysis of Anadarko's track record on behalf of the Save
the Loyalsock Coalition, a group of organizations working to protect the
Loyalsock State Forest, including the Appalachian Mountain Club, Audubon
Pennsylvania, Keystone Trails Association, the League of Women Voters of
Pennsylvania, the Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association, PennEnvironment,
PennFuture, the Pennsylvania Forest Coalition, the Responsible Drilling
Alliance, the Rivertown Coalition for Clean Air and Water, Shale Justice, and
the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter.
The EIP report provides hard data to back up the Coalition's concern that
Anadarko should not be entrusted with development of the pristine "Clarence
Moore Lands" of the Loyalsock State Forest, located in northcentral
Pennsylvania. The Clarence Moore Lands contain some of the most unique and
sensitive features of the Loyalsock, such as Rock Run, an "Exceptional Value"
stream widely considered to be the most scenic in Pennsylvania, and the
27-mile Old Loggers Path hiking trail.
Adam Kron, attorney and lead report author, EIP said: "Anadarko has the
dubious distinction of being Pennsylvania's seventh-worst oil and gas company
when it comes to keeping its pollutants out of rivers and streams. The
Commonwealth's own data demonstrates this fact. With one of Pennsylvania's
most pristine streams at the center of Anadarko's drilling plans, it's hard to
see how DCNR could find this to be in the interest of the Commonwealth and its
Mark Szybist, staff attorney, PennFuture said: "Unconventional gas activities
cause significant impacts on people, natural resources, and recreational
opportunities even when conducted in strict compliance with the law. This
alone should give the DCNR pause as it considers granting Anadarko a
right-of-way to drill on the Clarence Moore lands. The fact that Anadarko's
activities have resulted in so many discharges of pollution to waters of the
Commonwealth – that is a fact the DCNR cannot ignore."
The Hon. Greg Vitali, minority chair, House Environmental Resources and Energy
Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives said: "Loyalsock is a
Commonwealth treasure. The DCNR should do everything in its power to preserve
it to the greatest extent practical. Drilling is a highly industrial activity.
Even if Anadarko executed its development plan without violation, it would
cause unacceptable degradation to Loyalsock. As this report makes clear, there
is no reason to expect Anadarko will do that."
Barbara Jarmoska, vice president and treasurer, Responsible Drilling Alliance
said: "As a property owner, living on land adjacent to the Loyalsock State
Forest and bordering an EV designated stream, I am an eye witness to the
devastation wrought by the gas industry on Pennsylvania's rural landscape,
majestic scenery, and culture. I ask myself on a regular basis why our
government would allow the destruction of this unprecedented natural beauty."
EIP conducted its review of Anadarko's history as an oil and gas operator in
Pennsylvania using compliance data, including the Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Protection's (PA DEP) Oil and Gas Compliance Report over a
five-year period, January 2009 to December 2013.
According to the Oil and Gas Compliance Report, PA DEP conducted 2,928
inspections of 488 wells operated by Anadarko Exploration and Production
Onshore, LLC ("Anadarko E&P") between 2009 and 2013. In that same five-year
span, PA DEP conducted 72 inspections of facilities operated by Anadarko
Marcellus Midstream, LLC ("Anadarko Midstream"). From these inspections, PA
DEP identified 246 violations: 207 at Anadarko E&P facilities and 39 at
Anadarko Midstream facilities.
Major Anadarko violations included: 87 violations related to discharge of
pollutants to waters of Commonwealth; 77 violations for failure to properly
store or manage wastes or pollutants; 21 for failure to minimize erosion or
stabilize/restore site; 27 for failure to post permit/authorization; 17 well
casing violations; nine violations for miscellaneous noncompliance; five
incidents of failure to submit or maintain records on site; and three for
failure to notify DEP of a pollution incident, which casts a serious shadow of
doubt on the company's willingness to take responsibility for illegal
discharges, spills and other incidents of pollution that might slip under the
radar of state agencies.
EIP report key findings include:
oFor overall number of violations between 2009 and 2013, Anadarko has a
top-twenty ranking out of nearly 600 operators, which places it within the
top three percent of violators statewide.
oAnadarko has a history of discharge-related violations out of proportion
to its overall violations. More than one out of every three of Anadarko's
violations between 2009 and 2013 was due to a discharge to waters of the
Commonwealth or a related offense. During this time period, Anadarko
ranked seventh statewide for number of discharge-related violations.
oGiven that the Clarence Moore Lands contain most of the watershed of Rock
Run—a pristine, scenic, and "Exceptional Value" water of the
Commonwealth—it is hard to reconcile Anadarko's history of discharges with
DCNR's duty to ensure that the interest of the Commonwealth be protected
oAnadarko's history of violations should give the Pennsylvania Department
of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) reason to carefully
scrutinize Anadarko's plans for natural gas development in the Clarence
Moore Lands of the Loyalsock.
oThe EIP report (and streaming audio of telephone press event) are posted
ABOUT THE SAVE THE LOYALSOCK COALITION
The Save the Loyalsock Coalition is a group of organizations working to
protect the scenic lands and waters of the Loyalsock State Forest from the
effects of shale gas development. Member organizations include: Appalachian
Mountain Club; Audubon Pennsylvania; Keystone Trails Association; the League
of Women Voters of Pennsylvania; the Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association;
PennEnvironment; PennFuture; the Pennsylvania Forest Coalition; the
Responsible Drilling Alliance; the Rivertown Coalition for Clean Air and
Water; Shale Justice; and the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter.
The Environmental Integrity Project (http://www.environmentalintegrity.org) is
a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established in March of 2002 by former
EPA enforcement attorneys to advocate for effective enforcement of
environmental laws. EIP has three goals: 1) to provide objective analyses of
how the failure to enforce or implement environmental laws increases pollution
and affects public health; 2) to hold federal and state agencies, as well as
individual corporations, accountable for failing to enforce or comply with
environmental laws; and 3) to help local communities obtain the protection of
CONTACTS: Patrick Mitchell for EIP at (703) 276-3266 or
email@example.com or Elaine Labalme, of PennFuture and for the Save
the Loyalsock Coalition at (412) 996-4112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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