Gas company to give $500,000 in fracking spill deal

A natural gas company has agreed to give $500,000 to monitor water quality in the Susquehanna River basin after a Pennsylvania well blowout last year spilled "fracking" fluids into a tributary of the river, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced Thursday.

Gansler had formally threatened to sue Chesapeake Energy Corp. for allegedly endangering the health of Marylanders by the April 2011 spill in Bradford County, Pa. The river supplies drinking water to 6.2 million people and is home to sensitive Chesapeake Bay fish populations of American shad and striped bass, Gansler noted.

The company agreed after negotiations with the Maryland attorney general's office to donate the funds to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which oversees the bay's largest tributary.

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