There were no violations of state pollution laws last month when straight-line winds damaged nine tanks used in the natural gas drilling process in Bee Branch, according to the ADEQ.
In response to a complaint from April Lane of the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group, inspector Stephen DiGiacomo of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality visited the site of the French wells on Highway 92 in southern Van Buren County.
Lane’s complaint against SEECO said, according to the ADEQ report, a “production well for natural gas had been hit by a fallen tree and broke, releasing the contents into the creek nearby.”
Lane’s complaint was sent by e-mail at 1:45 p.m. Jan. 30. More than 2 1/2 hours later, at 4:28 p.m., Southwestern notified ADEQ of the damage.
Senior HSE Coordinator Zach Watson reported to ADEQ that straight-line winds from a weather system crossing the county on Jan. 29 damaged several produced water tanks and several smaller chemical tanks on three of SEECO’s gas well pads.
Pieces of the tanks had been scattered throughout the area, including along the fence separating some pads, the report said.
DiGiacomo visited the site on Feb. 1, 2013, and found that SEECO’s cleanup of the tanks was nearly complete. He said he found “no violations of the provisions of the Arkansas Water and Air Pollution Control Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder.”
In his report, DiGiacomo said when he arrived at one of the sites at 11:13 a.m Feb. 1, there was no sign of a fallen tree on the well head and construction crews had removed the damaged produced water tanks to a large waste bin. He said construction crews were completing the secondary containment berm around newly installed produced water tanks.
The inspector said he took readings of the water in the drains and pools around the pads and found no abnormal readings.
DiGiacomo said he spoke with Lane who told him a landowner was concerned about possible contamination of a pond where her cows were. He said conductivity readings were taken and no evidence of contaminated water was found.