A natural gas well in Pennsylvania’s Bradford County was back under control Wednesday evening after a hydraulic fracturing fluid leak that lasted nearly 20 hours.
In a statement, a Chesapeake Energy representative said the problem began just before midnight Tuesday, during “well completion activities” at a Leroy Township site.
Seven families were evacuated because of the spill. Chesapeake maintains there weren’t any injuries or gas emissions.
Attention now shifts from stopping the leak to cleaning up its mess, according to Skip Roupp, the deputy director for Bradford County’s Emergency Management Agency.
“There are some homes downhill from that. Did the water get into people’s wells? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know yet. But those will be things to determine,” he said in an interview with Binghamton, N.Y.-based public radio station WSKG.
Roupp estimated “thousands of gallons” of chemical and salt-laden fracking fluid spilled from the site.
“It’s an environmental problem. …If it got down to where the trout were, if it gets salty it would kill the fish.”
As big a mess as the spill is, Roupp pointed out it could have been worse.
“I’m much happier with it being water than gas,” he said. “If it were gas–if we had a major blowout with gas, then we would have a major explosion, which we didn’t have. Or we would have unexploded gas, which is an even bigger concern for me.”