The Department of Environmental Protection is investigating a large hydraulic fracturing fluid spill at an XTO Energy natural gas well pad in Penn Township, Lycoming County, which was first discovered last week. Fracking is the practice of extracting natural gas from shale using a highly pressurized mixture of water and chemicals.
A DEP inspector discovered the spill while inspecting the well pad. The inspector found that the bottom valve on a 21 thousand gallon fracking fluid tank was open and discharging fluid off the well pad. It’s estimated that more than 13 thousand gallons was spilled.
The DEP inspector was able to close the valve and XTO Energy officials were immediately contacted about the spill. The company has not provided any explanation for the open valve.
Stay with WHYY for updates on this story from reporter Susan Phillips this afternoon.