Judge Rules Exxon Must Face Criminal Charges Over 50,000 Gallon Fracking Waste Spill by Emily Atkin, January 3, 2014, Think Progress
Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy will have to face criminal charges for allegedly dumping tens of thousands of gallons of hydraulic fracturing waste at a Marcellus Shale drilling site in 2010, according to a Pennsylvania judge’s ruling on Thursday. Following a preliminary hearing, Magisterial District Judge James G. Carn decided that all eight charges against Exxon — including violations of both the state Clean Streams Law and the Solid Waste Management Act — will be “held for court,” meaning there is enough evidence to take the fossil fuel giant to trial over felony offenses.
Pennsylvania’s Attorney General filed criminal charges back in September, claiming Exxon had removed a plug from a wastewater tank, leading to 57,000 gallons of contaminated water spilling into the soil. The Exxon subsidiary had contested the criminal charges, claiming there was “no lasting environmental impact,” and that the charges could “discourage good environmental practices” from guilty companies.
“The action tells oil and gas operators that setting up infrastructure to recycle produced water exposes them to the risk of significant legal and financial penalties should a small release occur,” Exxon said at the time. …
The most recent study of health risks related to fracking was released in mid-December by the journal Endocrinology, which found the presence of hormone-disrupting chemicals in surface water and groundwater samples in Garfield County, Colorado — one county at the center of the U.S. fracking boom. The chemicals have been linked to infertility, birth defects, and cancer.
Additionally, a July study from the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences of USA found that the closer residents live to wells used in fracking, the more likely drinking water is contaminated, with 115 of 141 wells found to contain methane. [Emphasis added]
Kathleen Kane Wins Criminal Charges Against Exxon for Illegal Dumping of Fracking Waste by Jon Geeting, January 3, 2014
Republicans and gas industry shills freaked out when Kathleen Kane pursued the criminal angle, but it turned out she was right, and she won. [Emphasis added