On the anniversary of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the fossil fuel industry has another out of control leak happening right now. Does this sound familiar? An oil and gas company is “attempting to kill the well” and working to contain a major spill.
Bradford County’s director of public safety said the well, operated by Chesapeake, blew near the surface, spilling thousands and thousands of gallons of frack fluid over containment walls, through fields, personal property and farms, even where cattle continue to graze.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is taking groundwater and stream samples to determine the extent of the damage. Officials said fluids from the well have already contaminated Towanda Creek which feeds into the Susquehanna River, a source of drinking water for millions of people.
Chesapeake hasn’t made a public comment yet, so it will be interesting to see what the company has to say about this.
It’s also worth noting that one of the companies responsible for the disaster in the Gulf a year ago today - Halliburton - operates in Bradford County and is a leading supplier of fracking services, including to Chesapeake Energy. Halliburton reported a massive boost in profits earlier this week, largely derived from its work in unconventional gas and fracking in North America. It will be interesting to learn whether their cement work or other involvement had anything to do with today’s disaster.
Head over to WNEP for more on this leaking well, and stay tuned for more updates as this story unfolds.
Bradford County is no stranger to fracking disasters, as this TIME video shows: