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Pa. Natural Gas Driller Pays Record Fine For Fire, Pollution

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(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A natural gas driller has agreed to the biggest settlement ever in Pennsylvania for problems at sites in two different parts of the state.

The two fines total almost $1.1 million. Under a consent order and agreement, Chesapeake Energy will pay $900-thousand for contaminating the water supplies of 16 families in Bradford County and will pay $188-thousand for a February tank fire that injured three workers at a drilling site in Washington County.

Environmental Protection Secretary Mike  Krancer says the tank fire resulted from improper handling of liquefied gas, “It was not properly managed and it allowed the condensate to become vaporous and the vapors ignited.”

Governor Corbett’s spokesman Kevin Harley says, “The bottom line is that, you know, natural gas drilling presents a valuable opportunity for Pennsylvania and the United States. However, with this opportunity comes a lot of responsibility. And the Corbett administration is committed to strictly enforcing our regulations.”

In Bradford County, state officials determined there was improper well casing and cementing.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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