DEP Reaches Agreement with U.S. Energy

Consent Order and Agreement Follows Improvements Resulting from Previous Order

MEADVILLE – The Department of Environmental Protection has executed a consent order and agreement with U.S. Energy Development Inc. of Getzville, NY that allows the company to resume drilling activities in northwestern Pennsylvania while limiting the number of active well sites. U.S. Energy also paid a $200,000 civil penalty to DEP.

“The agreement is structured to ensure both immediate and continuing environmental compliance and allows U.S. Energy the opportunity to resume operations under a structured format,” said DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch. “As part of the agreement, U.S. Energy will operate under an environmental management plan that will serve as a blueprint for future compliance and development.”

The agreement documents the settlement of the cease-and-desist order that DEP issued against U.S. Energy July 10. The July order cited continued and numerous violations by U.S. Energy of the Oil and Gas Act, the Clean Streams Law, and the Solid Waste Management Act.

Some of the U.S. Energy well sites that were cited in the order are on the Allegheny National Forest and property owned by the Bradford Water Authority.

The violations included failure to implement measures to prevent accelerated erosion, unpermitted discharges, failure to restore well sites, encroachments into streams and wetlands without obtaining required permits, and failure to plug abandoned wells.

Oil and gas permitting, exploration and development are regulated in Pennsylvania under the Oil and Gas Act of 1984, which is administered by the DEP Bureau of Oil and Gas Management.

For more information on oil and gas wells, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, Keyword: “Oil and Gas.”

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