EPA cites two Texas independents for CWA violations

The US Environmental Protection Agency issued cease and desist administrative orders to two Texas independent producers on July 6 for violating the federal Clean Water Act.

The US Environmental Protection Agency issued cease and desist administrative orders to two Texas independent producers on July 6 for violating the federal Clean Water Act.

EPA’s Region 6 office in Dallas issued separate orders to Hunter Energy Inc. of Mineral Wells and Johnston & Ernst Operating Co. of Wichita Falls.

It said that a June 15 inspection of Hunter Energy’s production facility in Palo Pinto County found an unauthorized discharge of oilfield brine generated by production activities into a tributary of Lake Creek. A similar unauthorized oilfield brine discharge was found during a June 9 inspection of Johnston & Ernst’s production site in Wilbarger County into a Camp Creek tributary, it indicated.

The inspections also revealed that water located at the discharge points of entry into the creeks was contaminated from brine discharges and salts, according to EPA.

It said that the two producers each have been ordered to stop discharging all pollutants at their two production sites, remove all brine and contaminated soils, and removal all brine from the flow paths between their facilities and discharge points into the creeks’ tributaries. They also were ordered to remove all brine from the creek in each case and certify in writing within 30 days that the activity was completed, EPA said.

Contact Nick Snow atnicks@pennwell.com

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