EQT Corp. told the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that it sent 21 tons of drill cuttings from its Marcellus Shale wells to area landfills in 2013.
But landfills in southwestern Pennsylvania told a different story.
Six facilities in this part of the state reported receiving nearly 95,000 tons of drill cuttings and fracking fluid from the Downtown-based oil and gas operator last year.
The landfills’ records are the correct ones, said Mike Forbeck, waste management director with the DEP. He said the agency has opened an investigation into drillers’ under-reporting of landfill waste.
The EQT case — 21 tons vs. 95,000 tons — may be the most dramatic example of how data submitted by oil and gas operators don’t match up to reporting required of landfills. The DEP said it has been aware of the problem for “a number of months” and is looking into why the different reporting channels aren’t yielding the same results.