Pennsylvania district judge rules attorney general's lawsuit against XTO Energy for an alleged wastewater spill can move forward

A magisterial district judge in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, recently found that State Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's office "had presented sufficient evidence against XTO Energy Inc. of Forth Worth to support alleged violations of the state's clean streams and solid waste laws," The Patriot-News reports. XTO Energy, Exxon Mobil Corp.'s shale-drilling subsidiary, is charged with "discharging approximately 50,000 gallons of wastewater at one of its well pads outside Hughesville on Nov. 16, 2010." The attorney general's decision to bring charges was considered controversial by some given the fact that XTO had already settled a federal lawsuit filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the same discharge. The case represents the first criminal action taken by the state of Pennsylvania against a Marcellus shale drilling company since the natural gas boom began there five years ago (See our Dec 24, 2013, blog post for more information). For more, read the full story.

Oil & Gas Litigation, Pennsylvania