Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC released a statement Monday confirming that the company, in cooperation with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency, has removed the gravel at Blake Fork in Wetzel County and restored the site in accordance with a government-approved restoration plan.
Chesapeake says the company "remains fully committed to regulatory compliance and promptly instituted additional training and oversight to help ensure that our regulatory obligations are met."
Chesapeake Appalachia on Monday was ordered to pay a fine of $600,000 and placed under supervised release for a period of two years as a result of three convictions in Wetzel County.
Chesapeake pleaded guilty in October to three counts of "unauthorized discharge into a water of the United States," in which the company admitted it discharged 60 tons of crushed stone and gravel into Blake Fork in Wetzel County to create a roadway for the purpose of improving access to a Marcellus shale well drilling site.
David G. McLeod, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the EPA's criminal enforcement program in West Virginia, said, "The defendants knowingly and repeatedly obliterated sensitive wetlands. Companies and their managers who try to skirt the law to save money undermine our efforts to protect the public and the environment. Make no mistake, they will be vigorously prosecuted."
Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation.