July 22, 2020 / 8:06 PM / 15 days ago

Pennsylvania charges National Fuel Gas Supply with environmental crimes

FILE PHOTO: A newly installed natural gas line extends over a hillside in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 11, 2017. Photo taken October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

(Reuters) - Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Wednesday said he was charging the National Fuel Gas Supply Co, a unit of National Fuel Gas Company and subcontractor Southeast Directional Drilling with environmental crimes.

“These companies are being charged for polluting an unnamed tributary and groundwater in Washington County,” Shapiro said in a social media post.

Last month, a state grand jury’s report highlighted the failure of government agencies to oversee the oil and gas fracking industry and protect residents from the inherent risks of industry operations.

The report followed previous criminal findings against two fracking companies - Range Resources Corp and Cabot Oil & Gas — for repeated violations of Pennsylvania environmental laws.

Fracking — and horizontal drilling techniques — have produced massive amounts of natural gas and oil in the United States over the past decade.

Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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