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CNX Resources Enters into Plea Agreement to Air Pollution Control Act Violations, Commits $30,000 to South Franklin Township and 184 Acres of Land to Elizabeth Township

Center for Coalfield Justice member’s complaints and recordkeeping precipitated DEP investigation and criminal charges

CNX pigging station with violations in South Franklin Township, Washington County.

Washington, PA – December 2nd, 2021, CNX Resources Corporation signed a no contest plea to criminal violations of the Air Pollution Control Act resulting from an investigation into air quality complaints by a Center for Coalfield Justice member determined to protect her family and community.

“Gas companies think no one is watching, or that because they’re in rural Pennsylvania, no one will notice their violations,” said Veronica Coptis, Executive Director of the Center for Coalfield Justice. “But we are watching, and we will hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the damage they cause to our communities.”

As a result of the plea, CNX will donate $30,000 to South Franklin Township, Washington County, for the restoration of a stream and improvements to South Franklin Township Park. The company will also donate 184 acres of land to Elizabeth Township in Allegheny County.

Jodi Borello, a member of the Center for Coalfield Justice, first filed complaints with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in 2012 over emissions coming from a CNX “pigging” station near her residence. Pigging is a process used by gas companies to clean their pipelines and the pipeline is vented during the process. Ms. Borello maintained records of the emissions, which the DEP used to determine that CNX might be inaccurately reporting their pigging operations. Charges were filed by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office after an audit found that CNX did not accurately report its emissions.

Author

  • Veronica Coptis joined the CCJ staff in March 2013 as a Community Organizer and is now serving as the Executive Director. She grew up in western Greene County near the Bailey Mine Complex and currently lives in the eastern part of the county. Before joining the CCJ staff, Veronica served on the Board of Directors for CCJ and organized with Mountain Watershed Association. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from West Virginia University. She enjoys hiking and geocaching at Ryerson State Park and other areas around Greene County with her husband and daughters. Read more about Veronica in a New Yorker Magazine profile at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/03/the-future-of-coal-country.

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