After a check valve failure, a Chief Oil & Gas well pad in Bradford County, PA, spilled fracking brine last month, said officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The DEP received a call one day after the January 9 spill that one to two barrels of a “production fluid/freshwater mixture” spilled into soil “at the SGL-36 Pad in Overtown Township, Bradford County.”

During a pressure test, a two-inch hole was found in a saddle unit that brings in fresh water. A check valve failed, leading to the spill, according to the report. A contractor dug the spill site down to bedrock and about 175 cubic yards of soil was put into two dumpsters that same morning.

During a follow-up inspection January 22, a Chief representative told the DEP inspector that Universal, a division of Patterson-UTI, started fracking two Marcellus wells on the site in December and plans on fracking two more before early February. During the second inspection, another violation was noted, using an “open top structure(s) to store brine and other fluids produced during operation.”

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The case is open. The DEP has not decided if it will level any penalties against Chief for the incident.

Chief did release a statement Feb. 2, saying:

“Protecting the environment is a core value of Chief Oil & Gas. The situation at the SGL-36 Unit pad was immediately addressed and contained to the pad site. We will continue to work in full cooperation with the Department of Environment Protection to remedy and monitor the area.”

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