DEP Assesses $600,000 Civil Penalty for Waste Management Violations in Fayette County
Pittsburgh, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it has executed a $600,000 consent assessment of civil penalty (CACP) with John A. Joseph – individually and doing business as Joseph Contracting, John Joseph Contracting, and Perry Stone Supply LLC – to settle violations of the Solid Waste Management Act and Pennsylvania regulations that occurred between 2012 and 2015 in Dunbar, Perry, and South Union Townships, Fayette County.
During its investigation, DEP found that Joseph directed employees of his trucking company to haul solid waste from the oil and gas operations, primarily drill cuttings, from sites in West Virginia to locations in Pennsylvania where he did not have a permit to dispose of the waste. The majority of the drill cuttings were dumped at sites owned or controlled by Joseph, while some ended up at sites where he had contracts to provide fill material. Joseph also unlawfully burned debris such as wooden mats from the oil and gas operations on his property.
Between June 1, 2013, and June 30, 2015, DEP estimated that Joseph caused or allowed 1,831 truckloads of solid waste from oil and gas operations in West Virginia to be disposed at sites in Pennsylvania without maintaining required transportation records or obtaining authorization or a permit from DEP.
DEP collected samples from each of the five sites where Joseph deposited the drill cuttings. None of the samples indicated that contaminants were present at concentrations that would require remedial action under Pennsylvania residual waste regulations, and none showed any risk of harm to the public or environment from radiation.
As part of this civil penalty settlement, DEP and Joseph have agreed to settle litigation related to other actions taken by the DEP in response to the disposal incidents. Joseph will pay a civil penalty of $600,000 to the Solid Waste Abatement Fund.