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Company pays fine
A company whose oil well sprayed out 84,000 gallons of hydraulic fracturing flowback water in February has agreed to pay $35,000.
The Greeley Tribune reports the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission could have fined PDC Energy around $9,000, but company officials said it was the “appropriate thing to do” to go beyond that.
In entering into an administrative order by consent, PDC Energy also agreed to arrange for classes in Weld County on how emergency workers can respond to oil and gas-well situations.
Commission director Matt Lepore said at a commission meeting that the company’s response is exemplary.
A mechanical failure led to the fluid spraying from one of PDC’s well sites north of Windsor in February. Soil and groundwater testing indicated little to no contamination.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation giving the state the nation’s strictest regulations for high-volume oil and gas drilling. Quinn says the law will “unlock the potential” for thousands of jobs in southern Illinois while protecting the environment. Quinn’s signature was expected after the measure sailed through the Illinois Legislature.
The process called fracking probably won’t begin in earnest in the state until next year because the Department of Natural Resources must adopt rules to mirror the regulations and hire dozens of new engineers, inspectors and regulators.