Chesapeake fined $600,000 in W.Va. waterfall case

WHEELING (AP) — A federal judge has fined Chesapeake Appalachia $600,000 fine for destroying a Wetzel County waterfall while drilling a well.

U.S. District Judge Frederick P. Stamp Jr. also ordered the company to spend two years on supervised release during Monday’s sentencing in Wheeling.

In October, the company pleaded guilty to three violations of the federal Clean Water Act. It was accused of illegally discharging 60 tons of crushed stone and gravel into Blake Fork at least three times in December 2008, then spreading that material to build a road. Inspectors found the problem in 2010.

Under the plea agreement, separate violations for impoundments in Marshall and Wetzel counties will be addressed with civil penalties instead of criminal charges.

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