DEP Fines TerrAqua Resource Management for Frack Water Spill

Company Lost 800 to 1,000 Gallons in March 2011

WILLIAMSPORT – The Department of Environmental Protection has fined TerrAqua Resource Management LLC of Williamsport, Lycoming County, $18,500 for a March 2011 hydraulic fracturing, or frack, water spill at the company’s treatment facility in Lycoming County.

“This spill of between 800 and 1,000 gallons of frack water was caused by operator error,” DEP North-central Regional Director Nels Taber said. “Accidents like this can be prevented.”

The spill occurred when TerrAqua employees were in the process of filling three frack water storage tanks that overflowed into the containment system. The containment berms were not elevated enough and were too close to the tanks to contain the frack water.

A DEP investigation determined that the overflow occurred because the operator was not able to shut off the pump quickly enough after the alarm system displayed that the levels were high. The release was halted by opening valves to other storage tanks, allowing the frack water to flow into them.

TerrAqua hired an environmental remediation company to respond to the spill and about 750 gallons were recovered. The remainder entered a storm drain that discharges to the Susquehanna River. Because of the volume, no impact to the river was expected.

The spill was a violation of the Solid Waste Management Act, Clean Streams Law and the company’s general permit.


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2 Comments

  1. Mellisa says:

    Thats all they were fined? We don’t even know what is in Frack water so how can the DEP say there was no expected harm to the river? There are so many unknowns and I don’t think the DEP is looking out for our best interest either. I think DEP should be FINED!

  2. RicketyRick says:

    Fined? I’d go even further. The entire administration should be fired and replaced with some folks who aren’t owned by the gas companies.

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