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DEQ cites Encana for spill at fracking well site

Hydraulic fracturing rig
flickr user Eusko Jaurlaritza

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan has cited an energy company for spilling 300 to 400 gallons of water and brine into the ground on the site of a fracking well in Kalkaska County.

The state Department of Environmental Quality this week issued a violation notice to Encana Oil and Gas Inc. for an incident that occurred July 15. The spill was related to hydraulic fracturing, which releases natural gas trapped in deep underground rock formations.

Canadian-based Encana was cleaning out the well hole to prepare for production testing. But water pumped back to the surface inadvertently leaked from a tank.

The state says there's no lasting damage to the environment, and Encana quickly and effectively cleaned up the site.

No fine was issued. A message seeking comment was left with Encana on Friday.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.