Chesapeake Energy will pay $1.6 million to settle allegations that its Marcellus Shale drilling caused methane to leak into the drinking-water wells of three homes in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Oklahoma City gas producer will buy the homes as part of the settlement.
The settlement was reached Thursday while the case was before an arbitration panel in Philadelphia. Chesapeake in 2011 paid $900,000 in fines to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for allowing gas to contaminate the water wells of 16 Bradford County homes, including the three on Paradise Road that settled this week. DEP investigators blamed poor casings in Chesapeake's wells for allowing gas to migrate. Chesapeake admitted no wrongdoing.