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DEP citing Sunoco for drilling clay into creek

FINLEYVILLE, Pa. — The state Department of Environmental Protection says it expects to fine Sunoco Logistics for 5,300 gallons of drilling clay that a subcontractor accidentally released into a southwestern Pennsylvania creek two months ago.

The (Washington) Observer-Reporter says Sunoco hired the subcontractor to do horizontal drilling on a 53-mile natural gas pipeline that crosses Washington and Westmoreland counties.

The bentonite leaked into Little Mingo Creek in Union Township, Washington County, on Sept. 18. The soft clay is not toxic, but can kill fish if enough of it enters a waterway.

Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields says the company is working with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to remedy the release of the clay. Shields says Sunoco always has a response plan to deal with such incidents.

It’s not clear how much Sunoco might be fined.

In related news, West Cornwall residents file appeal of Sunoco Logistics pipeline pump station permits.

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