Friday, January 16, 2015

Range Resources hit with second big fine by PA's DEP

The drilling company, Range Resources, has agreed to a $1.75 million settlement over concerns that the firm didn't properly record how much water it drew from waterways to use when creating natural gas wells, Pennsylvania environmental officials said today.

It was the second massive fine in two years for Range which entered into a $4.15 million agreement with the PADEP in September, 2014. That fine was described by DEP as "the
largest against an oil and gas operator in the state's shale drilling era."
Under today's deal, Canonsburg-based Range Resources-Appalachia will be fined $800,000 and will spend roughly $950,000 to help the state expand, repair and operate an abandoned mine-drainage (AMD) treatment project in Findlay Township, near Pittsburgh.  The project is unrelated to Range's operations.

The DEP and Range both said the company has fixed procedural problems in how the company records its water usage.

DEP said it had approved the Hamilton AMD project in lieu of receiving additional penalties because the project will provide a substantial benefit to public health and the environment. The project also has strong local support

Record fine paid in 2014

In September, 2014, Range Resources agreed to pay $4.15 million to settle violations at six impoundments, or holding ponds, in Pennsylvania's Washington County. The DEP ordered the company to shut down some sites and do repair and upgrade work at others.
The charges against Range Resources at that time included improper monitoring of leaks from a wastewater containment pond as well as releases of contaminants, such as leaking flow back, that has affected soil and groundwater.
Then DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo said that Range Resources had signed a consent order stipulating, among other things, that the company perform soil and groundwater investigations at each of the closed impoundments.
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