NEW YORK The
Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice
have reached a settlement with XTO Energy Inc., a natural gas
and oil-producing subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp., to resolve
an alleged violation of the Clean Water Act resulting from a
leak at a storage facility for frack water.
The consent decree
forces Fort Worth, Texas-based XTO to pay a $100,000 penalty
and spend about $20 million to improve its wastewater
management practices, the EPA said.
The wastewater was
found to have leaked into a tributary of the Susquehanna River,
the agency added.
"This consent decree
establishes a program of best practices that should be a model
for the industry and, if followed, will give a level of
assurance to the people of the Commonwealth that their waters
will be protected," Peter J. Smith, U.S. attorney for the
Middle District of Pennsylvania, said in a statement.
Wastewater from natural gas exploration "typically
contain(s) high levels of total dissolved solids and other
pollutants," according to the EPA.