In one of the largest penalties leveled against an oil and gas service company in Pennsylvania’s history, Halliburton Energy Services is facing a fine $1.8 million for transporting, processing and disposing of hydrochloric acid without classifying it as a hazardous substance, state officials said.
Over a period of 12 years, Halliburton didn’t keep records of how much acid it moved, making it difficult to account for all potential infractions, but the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) counted 255 violations between 1999 and 2011.
Halliburton, the Houston-based energy service firm that helps oil and gas operators frack and cement wells, operated a facility in Homer City where it stored, among other things, unused hydrochloric acid hauled from well sites.
The company would treat the acid with lime to neutralize it, according to DEP spokesman John Poister, and then would send the resulting liquid waste to other facilities. Poister said some acid was not properly neutralized and went to facilities not permitted to accept such waste.
One of the recipients of the waste, formerly called Hart Resource Technologies in Creekside, helped the DEP recreate a timeline of waste that came from the Halliburton facility. In exchange for cooperating, Hart did not receive citations for accepting the waste.
Halliburton declined to answer questions on Tuesday. It issued a statement confirming it reached an agreement with the DEP and said it’s cooperating with the agency.
“Halliburton joins with the department in observing that there is no evidence that these past practices resulted in harm to the public or the environment,” the statement said.