The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas released its final report on an incident that took place in Doddridge County last summer.
In the report, the agency concludes that the petroleum-based material in the stream was most likely associated with Tapo Energy’s drilling activity, but there is insufficient credible evidence to conclude that the discharge was anything other than accidental.
As a result of the investigation, Tapo Energy was issued a notice of violation for discharging pollutants into the waters of the state and was assessed a penalty of $10,000.
In Aug. 2009, the DEP was notified of an orange substance on the surface of Buckeye Creek near West Union. The Office of Oil and Gas inspectors spent many hours monitoring the cleanup of the material and investigating the incident.
The report, which can be found on the agency’s website at http://www.dep.wv.gov/oil-and-gas/Pages/default.aspx, provides chronological detail of the agency’s actions in the investigation, as well as its findings. In addition to the report, all available public information related to the investigation can be found on the Office of Oil and Gas’ site under the heading Buckeye Creek Discharge Investigation.