A Chesapeake Energy Corp. subsidiary Friday pleaded guilty in federal court in West Virginia to three misdemeanor counts of violating the Clean Water Act and agreed to pay a $600,000 fine.
The U.S. attorney's office said Chesapeake Appalachia LLC used 60 tons of crushed stone and gravel in West Virginia's Blake Fork to create a roadway for improving access to natural gas well sites. Chesapeake said it used the gravel to upgrade a county road that included waters within the federal government's jurisdiction and that it failed to first secure a permit from the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
Chesapeake said it has removed the gravel and restored the site.
“Chesapeake Appalachia remains fully committed to regulatory compliance and promptly instituted additional training and oversight to help ensure that our regulatory obligations are met,” the company said in a statement.
The plea agreement also requires Chesapeake to be placed on probation and be under the supervision of the court for two years.
“This plea agreement demonstrates that those who illegally fill in or destroy these essential natural resources will be prosecuted,” said David G. McLeod Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's criminal enforcement program in West Virginia.