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News Releases from Region 03

EPA Settlement with Chesapeake Appalachia Improves Safety, Protects Chapmanville and Kermit, W.Va. Residents

Contact Information: 
Bonnie Smith (smith.bonnie@epa.gov)

PHILADELPHIA (March 1, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled alleged violations of chemical accident prevention regulations by Chesapeake Appalachia at its natural gas compressor stations in two West Virginia communities - Chapmanville, Logan County and Kermit, Mingo County. The settlement requires the company to pay a $98,550 penalty and ensure safeguards are in place to protect the health and safety of employees, local residents, and the environment.

EPA cited the company, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy, the nation's second largest natural gas producer, for violating risk management program requirements under Clean Air Act Section 112(r)(7). These measures require regulated facilities to identify and assess the hazards posed by controlled substances and develop an accident prevention program to reduce the risk of accidental releases to the air. They also require companies to develop an emergency response program.

According to EPA, the company violated the requirements by failing to ensure that the storage of liquefied petroleum gas and condensate in bullet tanks and above storage ground tanks was consistent with industry safety standards for flammable liquids. Ensuring safety measures are in place can reduce potentially harmful effects during a disaster and increase effectiveness and efficiency in responding to an emergency.

As part of the settlement, the company has not admitted liability for the alleged violations, but has documented its current compliance with risk management requirements.

EPA fact sheet risk management requirements: Clean Air Act Section 112(r): Accidental Release Prevention/ Risk Management Plan