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.