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Environment

Fracking Firm To Clean Up Streams

by Jessica Morrison
January 5, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 1

A subsidiary of ExxonMobil and the largest holder of natural gas reserves in the U.S., XTO Energy, will spend an estimated $3 million to clean up streams and wetlands damaged allegedly by the company’s hydraulic fracturing operations. In addition, the company will pay a civil penalty of $2.3 million for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act, which prohibits filling or damming U.S. waters without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. In a settlement reached last month with EPA, XTO is required to restore eight damaged sites in West Virginia and put in place a comprehensive plan for the company to comply with federal and state water protection laws. EPA and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection allege that the company discharged sand, dirt, rocks, and other fill material into streams and wetlands without a permit during the construction of hydraulic fracturing facilities. The alleged violations affected some 5,300 linear feet of stream and 3.38 acres of wetlands, the agencies say.

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