Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Thursday, March 6, 2014, 2:00 p.m.
An engine oil spill at a Marcellus shale well pad at Beaver Run Reservoir in Washington Township caused a small fire Saturday, state Department of Environmental Protection officials said Wednesday.
The spill did not cause soil or water contamination at the reservoir, which serves 150,000 residents of Westmoreland County, including those in Murrysville, Export and Delmont, said John Poister, DEP spokesman.
An unknown amount of engine oil was spilled onto a holding tank at the Mamont South 1A pad, he said. A pump engine on site failed, causing the spill. The spill caused a fire, which damaged the metal cover put on top of the secondary holding tank.
CNX Gas, a division of Consol Energy, has been conducting Marcellus shale drilling at the reservoir since 2010.
“No environmental impacts occurred and mitigation was successfully completed during each of these events. Consol Energy was not issued violations for any of the incidents in question,” Consol spokeswoman Kate O'Donovan said in an email Thursday.
Poister said there is no visible damage to the holding tank, but state officials will return to the site for further inspection.
This is at least the fifth incident requiring DEP attention since June at Consol's drilling operation at the reservoir in Bell and Washington townships.
In June, CNX Gas was cited after a fracking fluid spill. Another spill occurred in November, records show. In February, two barrels of oil-based mud were discharged on the site.
The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County could not be reached for comment.
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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