MONROE TWP. — PVR Marcellus Gathering LLC, of Radnor, has been sent a notice of violation from the state Department of Environmental Protection regarding a Sept. 30 incident at the company’s dehydration station on state Route 309 just over the Luzerne County border in Wyoming County.
A safety detection system at the station caused an emergency shutdown. DEP issued the notice on Thursday alerting the company of its failure to notify the department of the incident within 24 hours as is required by its permit.
DEP spokeswoman Colleen Connolly said the department was alerted of the Sept. 30 incident only after an investigation into a Nov. 23 incident at that same station, known as the Chapin Station. That incident was caused by a broken pilot that allowed moisture to enter the relief valve which then froze, causing it to open and vent, or blow off, natural gas. A roar like a freight train emanated from the station at 3 a.m. and a methane cloud rising 50 feet high poured from the open valve until crews from PVR could close the valve. DEP was notified within the required time frame of that incident
DEP is requiring the company submit, within 15 days, an acceptable plan to prevent similar malfunctions and a plan to ensure that if future shutdowns occur, DEP is notified within the required 24 hour time period. Failure to comply could result in legal action in the future.
The Chapin Station is part of the 30-mile long, 24-inch diameter Wyoming Pipeline PVR Marcellus Gathering LLC runs from northwestern Wyoming County to a metering station off Hildebrandt Road in Dallas Township, Luzerne County. Gas began flowing through the Chapin Station in September. The Wyoming Pipeline project was one of the assets PVR acquired from Chief Gathering LLC for $1 billion in May 2012.
The September incident not only wasn’t reported to DEP but neither the Luzerne County 911 Center nor the Kunkle Fire Department, which covers Monroe Township, were alerted.