Exxon Mobil Subsidiary to Face Criminal Charges

A subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp. will face criminal charges for allegedly dumping thousands of gallons of fracking waste at a Marcellus Shale drilling site in 2010. Following a preliminary hearing, Pennsylvania Magisterial District Judge James G. Carn ruled last week that all eight charges levied against XTO Energy, including violations of both the state Clean Streams Law and the Solid Waste Management Act, were supported by sufficient evidence to continue.

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General filed criminal charges back in September based on allegations that XTO removed a plug from a wastewater tank resulting in a 57,000 gallon spill. XTO has contested the criminal charges on the basis that there was no lasting environmental impact and has argued that the charges might discourage good environmental practices by discouraging drilling companies from attempting to recycle fracking wastewater for fear of criminal penalties in the event of a release.


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