Trans Energy faces criminal charges for pollution

CHARLESTON (AP) — Oil and gas company Trans Energy Inc. faces federal criminal charges for releasing natural gas drilling materials into streams.

An information filed last Friday in U.S. District Court in Wheeling alleges the St. Marys-based company lacked permits to dump into streams. The charges are misdemeanors.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a $3 million civil settlement with Trans Energy to be split between state and federal governments. The company also agreed to restore portions of streams and wetlands damaged by its activity.

Federal officials say 15 West Virginia sites were polluted by the company’s unauthorized discharge of dredge or fill material.

Officials allege the company impounded streams and discharged sand, dirt, rocks and other materials into streams and wetlands.

The Charleston Gazette first reported the charges.

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