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Penneco Environmental Solutions, LLC

09/13/2018
Case Number:UIC Appeal No. 18-02
ELR Citation:48 ELR 41401

The Borough of Plum ("Borough"), located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, timely filed a petition for review of an Underground Injection Control (•'UIC") permit that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3 ("Region") issued to Penneco Environmental Solutions, LLC ("Penneco"), on March 7, 2018. The permit authorizes Penneco to operate a Class II UIC well to dispose of brine produced during oil and natural gas production operations. The well, referred to as the Sedat #3A well. is located in the Borough.

The Borough's petition contends that disposal of brine in the well will increase seismic activity, and that seismic activity will threaten underground sources of drinking water, and therefore the Environmental Appeals Board ("Board") should remand for tile Region to perform a more thorough evaluation of potential seismic activity. In tile alternative, tile Borough requests that the Board remand for tile Region to include in tile permit a requirement that Penneco install seismometers at the well.

Held: Tile Board denies the petition for review. The Borough fails to confront the Region's response to comments and does not otherwise demonstrate clear error by the Region on the issue of induced seismic activity at the Sedat #3A well. With respect to tile Borough's argument that the permit should require Penneco to install seismometers at the well site, the Borough fails to establish that this issue has been preserved tbr review by the Board. The Board does note, however, that the Region has identified several permit provisions that are designed to protect underground sources of drinking water in the event of seismic activity.