from the press:
DIMOCK, Pa. - A cement truck slid down an icy hill and spilled an undetermined amount of diesel or other substance in Dimock Township, environmental officials in Pennsylvania said.
Crews for Cabot Oil & Gas have excavated and removed the contaminated soil and are doing final cleanup work at the site, Mark Carmon, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection, said Tuesday.
Reports on the size and nature of the spill varied. Carmon said up to 100 gallons of fuel leaked from the tanks on the side of the truck.
Ken Komorowski, a spokesman for Cabot, said the leak was from a line or hose under the truck, and it was much less, leaving only "a spot" on the ground.
The spill happened Friday when the truck slid off a steep ice-covered private road leading to a well on the Lewis property, Carmon said. It is the fourth spill in the last 10 months in an area where Cabot crews are drilling to extract gas from the Marcellus Shale.
In addition to the spills, the DEP has responded to several other concerns, including natural gas leaking into private water wells, and one well that turned turbid. As a result, Cabot has provided filters or alternative drinking supplies to five homes in the Carter Road area.
The first and biggest diesel spill happened last spring. Emergency responders and work crews set up barriers as they contained and vacuumed about 800 gallons of diesel that threatened a nearby stream. The DEP will be issuing a punitive fine for the first oil spill because it threatened a stream, Carmon said. He did not know the amount or timing of the fine as of Tuesday.
Additionally, DEP officials are evaluating the problems individually and collectively to see whether more enforcement steps are necessary.
Are they simply an unrelated string of bad luck, or part of a more serious or systemic problem with operations?
"You have to take it as it comes, and if you start to see a pattern, you have to deal with that, too," Carmon said.
Komorowski said the incidents were not unusual, given the amount and size of equipment, including drilling rigs, tankers, cement trucks, generators and excavation equipment being moved to drilling sites.
"We're moving a lot of equipment, and with the wintry conditions you sometimes have incidents like this," he said.