Company stops operations after brine dump
Columbus – Harch Environmental Resources has stoppped operations in Ohio after evidence was found the company was illegally disposing of oil field waste in Ohio, the Ohio DNR reported.
On May 16, an ODNR field inspector responded to a farm on Vineyards Road in St. Clairsville in Belmont County after receiving an anonymous tip through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, according to a news release.
The inspector found standing water and what appeared to be oil-based mud or brine that had been discharged directly onto the ground. After more inspection, it appeared trucks had backed up to the crest of a hill and released fluid down the hillside and into a private pond.
Gulfport Energy Corp of Oklahoma City, Okla., contracted with New Jersey- based Harch Environmental to dispose of the oil field waste that was illegally dumped.
“We will pursue and punish any company that chooses to violate or ignore ODNR’s core mission to protect Ohioans and the environment,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer in a news release. “Ohio’s laws provide some of the most comprehensive safeguards to public health in the country, and when those regulations are broken, ODNR will take all necessary steps to hold violators accountable.”
The ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management confirmed through laboratory testing that the soil and water samples collected from the area were high in chloride and sodium, identifying it as oil-field waste.
At the onset of this investigation, ODNR immediately ordered Harch Environmental to cease all illegal dumping activity; begin containment and remediation efforts on the property; and cease operations at its temporary site.
The order issued June 4 notified Harch Environmental they must show cause as to why its registration certificate to haul brine should not be revoked.