Chesapeake, Schlumberger fined $22,000 each in hydraulic-fracturing-related deaths of cattle

Shreveport Times (Louisiana) report:

Chesapeake, Schlumberger fined $22,000 each in cows’ deaths

By Vickie Welborn • vwelborn@gannett.com • March 25, 2010

KEITHVILLE – Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its contractor Schlumberger Technology Corp. each must pay $22,000 for violating state law in connection with the deaths almost a year ago of 17 cows at a natural gas well site.

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality mailed identical letters spelling out the settlement agreement with both companies on Tuesday. Each was informed that it must advertise the agreement and invite public comment.

Both companies deny the material discharged from the natural gas well site killed the cows, deny violations were committed and neither makes an admission of liability, according to the settlement document signed by LDEQ Assistant Secretary Paul D. Miller. Included in each fine is $1,300 in enforcement costs.

In a joint statement from Chesapeake’s Kevin McCotter and Schlumberger’s Stephen T. Harris, both companies acknowledged today entering into a proposed settlement agreement.

. . . . .

Citizens noticed the dying cows April 28 in a pasture owned by Cecil and Tyler Williams on state Highway 169 near the corner of Keatchie-Marshall Road in south Caddo Parish. Witnesses reported hearing them bellowing and seeing them bleeding before they fell over dead.

At the time, Schlumberger, as a contractor of Chesapeake, was performing routine fracturing of the natural gas well. LDEQ determined during its investigation that fluid leaked from the well pad then ran into an adjacent pasture after a rain.

Read full story at:

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20100325/NEWS01/100325018/Chesapeake-Schlumberger-fined-22-000-each-in-cows-deaths

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