MEADVILLE — The Department of Environmental Protection has ordered Schreiner Oil and Gas Co. to provide a permanent solution to water supply issues at two homes the company’s drilling activity impacted near Hedgehog Lane, McKean County.
DEP previously determined that the company, based in Massillon, Ohio, was liable for affecting the water supplies of homes in that area of Bradford Township. Water supplies at seven homes have been restored, but the problem remains unresolved at two other residences.
“The families in this neighborhood have had their lives disrupted for too long,” DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch said. “While Schreiner had installed treatment systems at these two homes, they were only a partial solution. The order calls on Schreiner to rectify the situation completely.”
Schreiner has been actively drilling combination oil and gas wells in the area since 2008 and did not establish background water quality in the area prior to drilling. Therefore, Schreiner must demonstrate that the contaminants in the affected water supplies do not exceed the maximum contaminant levels established under the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act.
DEP ordered Schreiner to submit to the department within 10 days a permanent water supply restoration plan for the two remaining residences. After DEP approves the plan, Schreiner has 30 days to implement and complete it.
DEP took samples at both homes over several months to confirm its findings. Among the contaminants identified were total dissolved solids, chlorides, manganese, iron, dissolved methane and ethane gas.
The order, which was issued Feb. 23, also directs the company to continue maintaining the other seven water supplies and to improve cement casing at three of its drilled oil/gas wells to prevent groundwater contamination.
Under the order, Schreiner is to apply within 60 days to have any of its 15 abandoned wells placed in inactive status or to plug the abandoned wells fully.
Until the gas migration issue is resolved fully, Schreiner cannot drill any new wells.