The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is issuing a Notice of Violation to JKLM Energy after the chemical release from JKLM’s Reese Hollow 118 well pad on September 18, 2015. The wellpad is located in Sweden Township.
The Notice of Violation includes:
• Failure to prevent pollution of fresh groundwater;
• Drilling through fresh groundwater with a substance other than air, freshwater or freshwater based drilling fluids; and
• Violations of Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law.
DEP has had representatives in the area almost daily since September
21, collecting samples, meeting with property owners affected by the
release, and overseeing operations at the gas well. More than 60
individual water samples have been taken from residential water supplies
through September 29, 2015. DEP is continuing to test and analyze
residential and municipal water supplies for evidence of contamination.
DEP is also ensuring water supply replacement to affected residences,
including the Cole Memorial Hospital, which was transitioned to
municipal water sources as a precaution. The Department also
participated in a September 25, 2015 meeting with the Potter County
Commissioners, PEMA, Potter County EMA, Cole Memorial Hospital,
Coudersport Borough, and JKLM Energy.
According to JKLM estimates, approximately 98 gallons of surfactant
(F-485) was released to groundwater during top-hole drilling activities.
This surfactant included isopropanol at 10-15% concentration, which is
not approved for use when drilling through freshwater aquifers. The
surfactant was reportedly diluted in 22,000 gallons of water and also
included 35 gallons of rock oil, a paraffinic petroleum product used to
lubricate the drill bit. DEP is working to verify this information.
DEP is currently in discussions with JKLM Energy on cleanup and
remediation of the release. JKLM has also voluntarily suspended related
drilling activities at the Reese Hollow site.
If residents suspect contamination with their water supply, they should
contact DEP at 570-327-3636 immediately. Residents with impacted water
supplies should not use their water for drinking, washing or bathing.
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