Jackson Two. gas leak stopped, leaking again

Pictured is the George L. Reade 1 storage well at the Equitrans Midstream Corp. Rager Mountain storage facility in Jackson Township that has been leaking since Nov.6, 2022. The photo was taken as part of a Department of Environmental Protection report.

VINTONDALE, Pa. – Several hours after crews were temporarily able to stop a gas leak at a gas storage facility in Jackson Township, the leak has reoccurred, according to an official with Equitrans Midstream Corp.

Natalie Cox, with communications and corporate affairs for Equitrans Midstream, said that on Thursday, crews successfully flooded the leaking well, which stopped the flow of natural gas at the company’s Rager Mountain storage facility, 555 Dishong Mountain Road.

However, in the early morning hours of Friday, the leak resumed, and crews began implementing alternative arrangements to once again halt the flow of gas.

According to the company, the Rager Mountain facility has a total storage capacity of 9 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

“In order to assess the work needed to halt the venting, there were various modeling techniques used to calculate the gas loss at the storage well,” Cox said.

“A preliminary, conservative estimate of 100 million cubic feet per day was used for operational purposes; however, we are unable to provide an accurate account of the gas loss until an inventory verification study is completed.”

Reports show that the company received five citations from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The first citation was issued on Nov. 7, the date after the leak was detected, for trying to prevent state inspectors from accessing the site.

Citations for the company include failing to maintain the integrity of a gas well and reservoir, “unlawful conduct” and venting “gas to the atmosphere that produced a hazard to the public’s health and safety.”

According to Lauren Camarda, community relations coordinator with DEP, agency personnel responded to the report of a well-control incident.

She added that DEP has maintained a constant presence on site, which will continue until the situation is under control.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a temporary flight restriction around the site of the leak is in place until Sunday with the exception of relief act operations.

Camarda said that DEP requested the restriction, which was approved by the FAA, went into effect on Nov. 7 and was extended through Sunday. She added that the restriction covers a one-mile radius and up to 1,000 feet.

A community hotline (888-574-6944) has been set up to provide general updates as incident management continues.

Katie Smolen is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @KSmolen1230.

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