CANTON - A fracking brine spill at a Talisman Energy USA Kirkowski well pad in Bradford County is a case of vandalism, police said Thursday.
Officials from the state police, state Department of Environmental Protection and Talisman Energy are investigating the suspected criminal mischief incident, which released between 8,400 and 21,000 gallons of fracking brine into the containment area on the well pad.
Police described the incident, which happened earlier this week, as "intentional tampering."
DEP's Oil and Gas Program was notified Tuesday morning of the spill.
The well pad is off of Ayres Road in Canton Township. It is the site of four producing Marcellus Shale wells.
A Talisman worker discovered the spill, which was caused by a missing plug and an open valve on a brine water storage tank.
Talisman Energy communications Director Natalie Cox said the spill was production brine and was not toxic.
Cox said cleanup of the area was nearly completed Wednesday, but she could not say if any of the substance escaped the containment area.
Most of the spill was contained, DEP officials said, but about 400 gallons escaped onto the well pad near the six brine tanks.
Agency staff collected samples of the discharge Tuesday and a DEP Oil and Gas inspector visited the site Wednesday to monitor the excavation of contaminated soil from the spill area and collect additional information. Enforcement action is under review.
Though state police are investigating the incident as criminal mischief, Cox said no one can confirm that the plug or valve were tampered with.
"It is still under investigation. We remain unclear of what may have caused fluid to come from this valve," she said.
Anyone with information about the incident may call state police at 265-2186.