Protecting Pennsylvania’s Environment
Southwestern Pennsylvania has been our home for more than 150 years, and we work each day striving to exceed industry-best practices and regulatory requirements.
November 23, 2022
By Hayley Scott, CNX Chief Risk Officer
CNX takes great pride in safely producing Appalachia natural gas, which continues to lead the way in improving our region’s public health and environment and revitalizing our communities. Southwestern Pennsylvania has been our home for more than 150 years, and we work each day striving to exceed industry-best practices and regulatory requirements while supporting the quality of life we are so fortunate to enjoy thanks to our domestic energy resources. Importantly, we always strive for transparency and accuracy when it comes to our business.
With these themes in mind, we want to address a recent assessment and statement by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) regarding events that occurred on CNX property in Richhill Township, Greene County.
We believe that companies, regulators, and the media have an obligation to communicate these events in an accurate, straightforward, and transparent manner. To that end, the following is a summary of what occurred in the referenced events:
- An accidental spill of brine water (salty water produced during natural gas extraction) occurred on our sites, and some of the spill seeped through a tear in our containment liner.
- All spill volumes that seeped through our containment liner remained on site (on CNX property).
- As is our standard operating procedure, CNX reported the spills to PA DEP immediately upon discovery.
- CNX immediately initiated a mitigation response that stopped the leaks, avoided any off-site impacts, and that successfully contained the spilled volumes to CNX property.
- CNX worked in close coordination with PA DEP inspectors throughout the incidents and kept the PA DEP fully informed on status and plans moving forward.
- All actions and plans between spill discovery and spill mitigation were fully compliant with PA DEP regulations and requirements.
- No spill volume reached, and thus did not impact, a stream, river, or lake.
Responsibility for the spills resides with CNX. But make no mistake, we are confident that once the spills were discovered, CNX reacted to and managed each incident in a safe and responsible manner and in full compliance with regulations and regulatory timelines.
Our decisions and actions after spill discovery resulted in no delay to mitigation and no additional spill volumes. Our goal every day is to operate without any incident regarding safety, environment, or regulatory compliance. Sometimes we unfortunately fall short of that goal, and when we do, we own it. Indeed, we fell short of our goal in certain respects with the incidents the PA DEP references in Richhill Township.
We respect the mission of the PA DEP and value our long-standing, close working relationship with the agency and dedicated personnel that work there. We look forward to future collaborations with PA DEP to continue to enhance the state-of-the-art when it comes to Pennsylvania’s strategic energy resources.
Please visit our Corporate Responsibility Report to learn about our commitment to environmental stewardship and local responsibility.