Michigan regulator cites Encana for spilling over 300 gallons of fracking waste water by David Eggert, August 2, 2013, The Associated Press, Global News Calgary
LANSING, Mich. – A Canadian energy company has been cited for spilling 300 to 400 gallons of water, brine and fracking fluids into the ground on the site of a well in northern Michigan. The Michigan state Department of Environmental Quality this week issued a violation notice to Encana Oil and Gas Inc. for an incident that occurred July 15 in Kalkaska County’s Garfield Township. The spill was related to hydraulic fracturing, which releases natural gas trapped in deep underground rock formations.
Calgary-based Encana, which finished fracking the well last December, was drilling out the plug and cleaning out the well hole to prepare for production testing. But water pumped back to the surface inadvertently leaked from a steel tank because a valve connecting to other tanks was kept closed. The state said there’s no lasting environmental damage, though testing continues, and said Encana quickly and effectively cleaned up the site.
“We’re doing it because it was a preventable accident,” DEQ spokesman Brad Wurfel said of the violation notice. No fine was issued. Encana instead will be subject to graduated enforcement because it’s the company’s first violation, Wurfel said. An Encana spokeswoman said Friday that soil samples are being tested, but the company’s confident in the cleanup. “It was pretty much contained on location,” Bridget Ford said.
Water is required to be stored in tanks until it can be trucked to a deep disposal well. Plastic liners with perimeter berms had been installed under the tanks as required by the state, according to the state. The big concern with such spills is ensuring chloride in the flowback water doesn’t spill and contaminate the water table underground, Wurfel said. Soil samples were analyzed for chloride, benzene and other oil and gas components. Concentrations were below levels of detection except for chloride, which was “well below” cleanup standards, Wurfel said. [Emphasis added]
State cites Encana for spilling 300-400 gallons of water at fracking site in northern Michigan by David Eggert, The Associated Press, August 2, 2013, Calgary Herald
A Canadian energy company has been cited for spilling 300 to 400 gallons of water, brine and fracking fluids….
“We’re doing it because it was a preventable accident,” DEQ spokesman Brad Wurfel said of the violation notice. … No fine was issued. … Fracking has become a hot political issue in Michigan and elsewhere. It involves pumping huge volumes of water laced with chemicals and sand at high pressure into wells that can extend a mile or more underground. State regulators and industry representatives say the process is environmentally sound, but critics say it can pollute surface and ground water and threaten air and soil quality.
[Refer also to:
November 2012 – EnCana’s drilling waste dumped at Rosebud, just east of where the company fractured the community’s drinking water aquifers in 2004.
Bob Curran, Public Affairs Section Leader, ERCB on GlobalTV, January 17, 2013:
“We evolve the regulations on an ongoing basis to ensure that they’re protective of groundwater and public safety and that waste is disposed of properly as well.”