DEP responds to deadly truck crash, determines that release of brine is a 'violation of Clean Streams Law'
On May 24, a tanker truck carrying gas well pad brine crashed near Salladasburg along Larry's Creek, killing the driver.
According to news reports from the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, the tank remained intact but the collision punctured a hole in it, allowing the brine to drain into Larrys Creek.
Alerted to the situation by a concerned citizen, the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association reached out to the regional office of the Department of Environmental Protection to determine the potential impact on the aquatic ecosystem. Community Relations Director Megan Lehman provided the following update:
"DEP’s Clean Water Program and Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields Program are jointly following up on this spill in Mifflin Township, Lycoming County. DEP personnel have been to the scene multiple times and completed an incident inspection on May 25. Approximately 4,620 gallons of produced water from an EQT well pad was released to the second fork of Larrys Creek. DEP determined this release constitutes a violation of the Clean Streams Law."
"Most of the spilled material had washed away by the time first responders arrived at the scene, largely due to a natural spring that flushed the roadside area where the spill occurred. DEP inspectors identified some impacted soil. No significant stream impacts were noted."
"The responsible party and their environmental contractor have/will take the following steps:
"DEP will continue to investigate the incident and follow up appropriately."
Anyone with more information about the spill -- especially any changes within the creek's ecosystem around the time of the incident -- are encouraged to contact Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper John Zaktansky via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.