By The Associated Press
Pennsylvania environmental regulators have fined a natural-gas driller more than $3.5 million for violations at 10 well sites and six pipeline locations. The Department of Environmental Protection said Dec. 7 that subsidiaries of Rice Energy Inc. operated an unpermitted wastewater impoundment that leaked, improperly constructed wells, violated rules for erosion and sediment control, failed to obtain permits and committed other infractions. Regulators say the violations took place over several years at sites in Washington and Greene counties, in western Pennsylvania. Canonsburg-based Rice has already paid the fines. … Pennsylvania’s highest court won’t hear an appeal by three central Pennsylvania families trying to prevent an energy company from taking their property for its natural gas pipeline across southern Pennsylvania. The state Supreme Court’s decision Dec. 29 cleared another hurdle for Sunoco Logistics Partners’ Mariner East 2 Pipeline. The lower Commonwealth Court ruled in July in favor of Sunoco over three Cumberland County property owners fighting the use of eminent domain for the 300-mile pipeline project. The company has said the pipeline would provide four times the capacity to move natural gas from Marcellus Shale drilling fields.