Driller's groundwater pollution draws $1.2M fine

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 28, 2017 12:21 AM

FILE PHOTO: (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson, File)

(Harrisburg) -- A Tulsa, Oklahoma-based oil and natural gas exploration company is paying $1.2 million for polluting groundwater supplying five households in southwestern Pennsylvania in 2012.

The state Department of Environmental Protection announced the fine Monday against WPX Energy, which agreed to it in a December consent agreement.

Officials say that a leak from a wastewater pit polluted groundwater below WPX's Kalp wellsite in Westmoreland County, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. WPX says it paid for bottled water and water-treatment systems at the affected households. The company still must show that it has cleaned up the groundwater.

WPX says no individual's health was ever at risk.

WPX has sold of much of its holdings in the Marcellus Shale natural gas reservoir, and now operates just a handful of wells there.

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