Marcellus Shale Gas Industry Ruins Christmas Again

Another major explosion ruins the Christmas holiday for local families. Second major mishap in less than five years for the ETC Revolution project!

Details on the latest explosion and evacuation:

“ETC Northeast Pipeline/Revolution cryogenic processing plant at 76 Rover Lane along Point Pleasant Road in Bulger, Washington County had a valve failure which created a leak of product. This leaked onto an Amine Unit which caught on fire and then exploded according to the PA DEP.

It is unclear how many workers were present at the time of the 7:30am Christmas morning explosion. Neighbors heard noises before the fire/explosion and then witnessed First Responders unable to get to the plant due to the gate being closed.

Neighbors evacuated themselves fearing a repeat of the 2018 explosion of the Revolution Pipeline in Beaver County which blew up a home. [see photos further below]

Keep in mind, this plant is located next to Rover/ETC’s Bulger compressor station, which is next to MarkWest’s Smith compressor station. Bulger compressor station and Revolution cryogenic plant are also across the street from MarkWest’s Harmon Creek cryogenic processing plant on Point Pleasant Road and is also across Point Pleasant Road from MarkWest’s Harmon Creek cryogenic plant.

I attempted to contact PA DEP’s emergency line but was met with a recording saying that no one was available and to try calling back later!

I called the National Response Center and several media outlets.

Days after the incident, PA DEP returned my call. They informed me that they are off for the holidays and were communicating with Energy Transfer via phone and computer and would only be available to be on site on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 to access the damage. The plant is offline until DEP permits it back online.

Energy Transfer is not allowed to remove damaged pieces off site without DEP first inspecting, yet cranes are visible at the plant presently.” [photos below]

Submitted by: Cat Lodge

NRC Report: Unknown Material near Bulger, PA
SkyTruth Id:
Click here  1355891
2022 December 25 / 7:30 am
[‘NRC’, ‘other’, ‘release’]

Report Details
NRC Report ID: 1355891
Incident Time: 2022-12-25 07:30:00
Nearest City: Bulger, PA
Location: AUTUMN LN
Location2: GAS PLANT
Incident Type: FIXED
Medium Affected: AIR
SkyTruth Analysis
Lat/Long: 40.404224, -80.350792 (Approximated from route) 


Ghost of Christmas Past:

Fire at Chartiers Gas Meter Station Causes Evacuations
By Emily Petsko / Observer-Reporter / December 25, 2014
About a dozen Chartiers Township [Washington County, PA] residents were evacuated Christmas Eve after a fire broke out at a gas meter station on Western Avenue. The fire at the Williams Partners L.P. station, which operates an ethane pipeline that runs from Marshall County, W.Va., to Houston, Pa. ignited about 10 p.m. Firefighters were able to put out the biggest flames by 11:30 p.m., but waited until 2 a.m. for smaller flames to be extinguished after the facility’s gas valve was turned off. The fire rattled some nearby residents. Shawn Sethman said his parents, who live about 150 feet from the facility, were evacuated. Sethman also lives on Western Avenue, but his family was not home at the time. “My mom was shaken up and scared to death,” he said. “She actually thought everything was blowing up as bad as it was.”

ETC Revolution Pipeline explosion in Beaver County in 2018:

The Bluestone Gas Production Plant in Butler County, PA is on the northern end of the Revolution Pipeline and feeds the Revolution Gas Plant

Explosion, Fire At Energy Transfer’s Revolution Natural Gas Cryogenic Plant Burned For Nearly 11 Hours On Christmas Day In Smith Twp., Washington County
December 31, 2022
– Energy Transfer subsidiary ETC Revolution Pipeline was fined $30.6 million by DEP for a 2018 explosion of its brand new Revolution Natural Gas Pipeline in Beaver County.  Read more here. The Public Utility Commission fined the company $1 million for the same explosion.  Read more here. Energy Transfer was convicted of criminal charges by the Office of Attorney General for the same explosion and for construction practices used in the Mariner East Natural Gas Liquids Pipelines.  Read more here. Energy Transfer’s subsidiary Sunoco Pipeline has been fined more than $24 million related to dozens of violations during the construction of the Mariner East Pipelines.  Read more here.

Explosion, fire at natural gas cryogenic plant rattles Smith Township
December 30, 2022 – The peace and tranquility of Christmas morning was disrupted for Kasey Duran and her family when they heard an explosion at the cryogenic plant near their Smith Township home, followed by a fire that raged at the natural gas processing facility for nearly 11 hours. Duran said her two children were beginning to open Christmas presents about 7:30 a.m. when they heard a “jet noise” at Energy Transfer’s Revolution cryogenic plant on Point Pleasant Road, followed by a loud bang that rattled the house.

“It blew and shook the whole house. A big piece (of equipment) over there caught fire. The kids are terrified. The whole family is scared. The peace is gone.”

Kasey Duran

Fire rips through Washington County cryogenic plant
December 26, 2022
– WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) – An investigation is underway in Washington County after residents woke up to an early-morning blaze. The fire happened at the ETC Revolution cryogenic plant in Smith Township.


UPDATE: Revolution Gas Plant Fire Christmas Day
January 11, 2023

DEP Ongoing Explosion/Fire Investigation: Energy Transfer Reported An Uncontrolled Release Of Ethane For 9.5 Hours From Its Revolution Natural Gas Processing Plant In Washington County
January 10, 2023
– A January 3 DEP inspection report shows Energy Transfer reported a nine and a half hour uncontrolled release of ethane and other vapors from its Revolution Cryogenic Natural Gas Processing Plant in Smith Township, Washington County during a Christmas Day explosion and fire at the plant. The company reported ethane and other vapors began to leak at about 7:20 a.m. on December 25 and ceased as of 4:59 p.m. the same day. Ethane is a heavier-than-air gas that is highly flammable and reactive chemical.  Contact with ethane can cause frostbite.  Exposure can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and very high levels can cause suffocation from lack of oxygen.  Click Here for more. The explosion caused a “loss of communications systems” within the plant and as a result “video footage of the plant’s open flare” is unavailable.  However, another plant official said visible emissions [black smoke] was noted from the flare.

Smith Township natural gas cryogenic plant resumes partial operations
January 10, 2023
– A natural gas cryogenic plant in Smith Township has resumed partial operations after a Christmas morning explosion led to a fire at the facility. A spokesperson with Energy Transfer confirmed in an email Monday that their Revolution cryogenic plant has started some operations back up. Smith Township fire Chief Brandon Kriznik said his department received word from Energy Transfer last week that the plant would begin resuming operations. Neighbors reported seeing flaring at the plant over the weekend. Emergency crews were dispatched to the plant about 7:40 a.m. Dec. 25 and found a large piece of equipment on fire. Firefighters remained on the scene to monitor the fire, but could not put it out as it was still being fed natural gas.

Photo of a smoky flare at the Revolution plant on the evening of January 8, 2023:

Christmas fire at Energy Transfer’s Revolution plant keeps facility offline
January 3, 2023
– The cause of the fire and what some residents described as an explosion at the Revolution Cryogenic plant is still under investigation by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Texas-based company. DEP officials were notified of the problem on the day it happened, but have not yet inspected the facility. They plan to make their first visit on Tuesday. The plant is located in a cluster of natural gas facilities, with two large natural gas compressor stations, Mark West’s Harmon Creek cryogenic gas processing plant, and a well pad all packed into an area of less than half a square mile.