EPA, Gasco Energy settle Utah wetland violations

Feb. 5, 2014 at 8:04 AM
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DENVER, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Denver company Gasco Energy agreed to shut down a natural gas production well and restore wetland acreage in response to federal complaints, the EPA said.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Gasco resolves 2011 violations of the Clean Water Act by agreeing to close a natural gas production well and restore nearly 2.5 acres of damaged wetlands near the Green River in Utah.

"The company must remove a well pad and roads, replant vegetation, and implement other measures to restore the damaged areas," the EPA said in a statement Tuesday. "The company will also pay a civil penalty of $110,000."

There was no statement on the settlement from Gasco, which as of 2012 held interests in 114,569 gross acres in Utah.

The EPA said Gasco in 2007-08 drilled into the floodplain of the Green River and illegally filled in two acres of wetlands designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a critical habitat.

The federal government signed off on Gasco's plans to develop natural gas in the Utah basin in 2012 after the company agreed to reduce the number of wells planned in the area by 200 to 1,300.

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