The Department of Justice, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection announced that they have reached a settlement with Antero Resources Corporation resolving alleged violations of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act at 32 sites in Harrison, Doddridge and Tyler counties.
The settlement requires Antero to pay a civil penalty of $3.15 million and to conduct restoration, stabilization and mitigation work at impacted sites, according to a press release from the United States Department of Justice. Antero will also provide mitigation for aquatic resource impacts.
Impacts to aquatic resources will be partially offset at a 51.5 acre permittee-responsible mitigation site that will restore, enhance, create and preserve more than 11,500 linear feet of streams and more than three acres of wetlands, according to a press release. The EPA-estimated value of the proposed mitigation and restoration is $8 million.
The violations involved the unauthorized disposal of dredged and fill materials into waters at or near sites where Antero had constructed well pads, compressor stations, impoundments, pipeline crossings, access roads and other structures associated with Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction via fracking, according to the Department of Justice.
The unauthorized activities impacted more than 19,000 linear feet of streams and more than four acres of wetlands and included stream impoundments, filling wetlands and streams for compressor station pads, realigning and culverting stream segments and failing to fully restore “temporary” impacts, according a press release.
Approximately half of the sites were identified by Antero through a self audit. Several of the sites were associated with construction failures or slips from access roads and pads, according to the Department of Justice.
The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period.