Soil removed from 2011 spill site in Robinson

Chevron has removed about 60,000 tons of contaminated soil surrounding a gas well pad as part of a remediation plan at the site of a 2011 condensate spill in Robinson Township.

The remediation efforts followed a December 2011 leak in a two-inch underground condensate line at the Robinhill 15H-18H natural gas well pad site off Bigger Road. The hydraulic fracturing well is owned by Chevron-Appalachia. Efforts at the site continue as part of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Act 2 program. Robinson supervisors released the information during a board meeting in February.

DEP spokesman John Poister said Chevron initially contacted the department about the spill after finding a leak in an underground line transporting condensate.

“They originally thought it was a small leak but later found out it was much larger,” Poister said.

The leak was caused by a faulty weld and spilled between 3,000 and 3,500 gallons of condensate, a low-density mixture of hydrocarbon. The liquid is a natural gas byproduct and has the odor of petroleum.

Poister said under the Act 2 agreement, Chevron has been monitoring the site for groundwater contamination, and thus far none has been detected.

Chevron officials said the 60,000 tons of contaminated soil was disposed of at a state-approved facility and was replaced by 60,000 tons of clean soil that was shipped in from off-site.

“There’s been no indication at any time that any condensate left the immediate vicinity of the well site,” said Trip Oliver, public affairs manager for Chevron. “Although it will remain in Act 2 status for the foreseeable future … our remediation activities as planned are complete.”

Under the Act 2 program, Chevron agreed to rigorous cleanup standards in exchange for exemption from future ground-quality liability on the property to any future owners of the land. Chevron will continue to monitor the site for any sign of contaminants or future leaks.

During the February meeting, supervisors also granted Chevron a building permit to correct a hill slide at a well pad roughly a quarter-mile away. DEP and Chevron officials said benching work at the Robinhill 21 site would focus on a hillside that had become unstable due to moisture.

The two remediation plans were not related.


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