How stupid can you get PA DEP? Withdraws record $8.9 Million fine in settlement exchange with Range Resources to fix the company’s drinking water and stream polluting, vegetation killing methane leaker, which of course, Range refuses to do.

Never mind DEP, Alberta’s filthy corrupt 100% industry-funded AER has not yet ordered Encana to repair the community drinking water aquifers the company illegally frac’d in 2004, contaminating many water wells with life-threatening concentrations of methane, and also with thermogenic ethane and man-made chemicals used in frac’ing. AER fined Encana $0 but violated Ernst’s rights, and made her life Hell trying to threaten her into quiet obedient Alberta submission.

Ernst’s drinking water after Encana’s illegal fracs into the aquifers that supply her well. The flame went as high as the ceiling. Ernst never ignited her frac’d water in her home again for media or anyone (only outside).

DEP orders Range Resources to clean up its act on well that had garnered a then-record $8.9 million fine, DEP quietly withdrew the fine for faulty drilling after the company promised to fix the problems by Susan Phillips, Jan 13, 2020, State Impact Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered Texas-based Range Resources to fix a Marcellus shale well that has polluted drinking water in Lycoming County since at least early 2012, and which the DEP had previously fined the company a then-record $8.9 million in 2015. Regulators quietly withdrew the fine several years later after reaching a settlement agreement with Range.

The DEP now says Range Resources continuously failed to correct issues caused by faulty well construction nine years ago at the Harman Lewis unit 1H well in Moreland Township. DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell says the agency has worked with the company in “good faith.” [Bah Humbug! DEP knew damn well no oil and gas company would honour the “settlement,” never a rogue outfit like Range Resoures!]

“We expect companies to abide by our environmental laws and regulations and they must be held accountable if their work results in violations that negatively impact our environment,” McDonnell said in a statement. “Range Resources’ refusal at times to accept responsibility and finally address this problem is unacceptable and that is why DEP is issuing this order.” [After nine years?]

In addition to the contamination that dates back to the well’s original 2011 construction, the DEP says the company tried to re-enter the well in 2016 but drilled outside the casing and created an open bore hole that remains.

“We have been working with Range Resources but have been met with sporadic cooperation, which will no longer be tolerated,” McDonnell said. “Through a rigorous investigation, DEP has determined that Range Resources is responsible for the leak and must take corrective actions as outlined in this order, which seeks to resolve this environmental issue once and for all.”

Range Resources originally drilled the well in the winter of 2011, and fracked it in June of that year. In January 2012, DEP began an investigation after learning of tainted water in the vicinity of the well.

The agency concluded a bad cement job lead to methane migrating into private water wells as well as a nearby stream. DEP issued a notice of violation in September 2013, citing a faulty cement job. Despite that notice, DEP said at the time, Range refused to take responsibility as methane continued to flow into private drinking water supplies and a nearby stream.

In June 2015, DEP announced a plan to fine the company $8.9 million. At the time of the announcement, DEP says their inspectors saw methane bubbling up from the stream and killing vegetation in a farmer’s field.

In issuing the original fine, then DEP Secretary John Quigley said the agency took “seriously our responsibility to protect residents and Pennsylvania’s natural resources.”

Quigley was forced out as DEP secretary about a year later. The agency withdrew the fine about one week after his controversial departure. The move surprised many, including Quigley, who at the time said he knew nothing about the plan to withdraw the fine against Range Resources, something he should have known about as head of the agency.

DEP officials say the fine was withdrawn after Range Resources submitted plans to remediate the damage. But Tuesday’s order shows the agency believes the company did not keep to its side of the agreement.

Range Resources did not respond to requests for comment. The company has 60 days to submit a plan to halt the ongoing methane migration and fix the open bore hole. [Then, after the plan is submitted, how many decades to fix the problems?]

The DEP said Range installed or paid for treatment for the water supplies that were affected.

The company could appeal the fine to the Environmental Hearing Board, the DEP said.

Pennsylvania orders gas well plugged in fight over methane by Associated Press, January 13, 2020, triblive

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration on Monday told Range Resources that it must fix a Marcellus Shale natural gas well “once and for all” that it maintains has leaked methane since 2011 and contaminated groundwater and streams in north-central Pennsylvania.

Wolf’s Department of Environmental Protection in 2015 issued — and then later rescinded — $8.9 million in fines over the well to its Fort Worth, Texas-based owner, which contends that the Lycoming County well is not the source of the methane contamination.

The department insisted Monday that the Harman Lewis well’s cement casing is defective and that Range Resources’ cooperation is sporadic.

The department’s 13-page order issued Monday gives Range Resources two months to submit a plan to reduce the gas migration and, after the department approves the plan, four months to submit a plan to plug the well and a bore hole next to it. [That’s a lot of plan-to-go-nowhere for Range!]

“We have attempted to resolve this in good faith but after numerous attempts, the operator still has not completely addressed these violations,” Patrick McDonnell, Wolf’s environmental protection secretary, said in a statement.

Range Resources’ refusal to accept responsibility and address the problem “is unacceptable,” McDonnell said, and the order is designed to solve the problem “once and for all.”

A Range Resources spokesman, Mark Windle, said the company strongly disagrees with the department’s order.

“We have worked tirelessly to fully cooperate with both regulators and nearby residents for years despite extensive third-party studies and analysis that determined the methane in the groundwater is naturally-occurring,” [by fraudulently changing post-frac and post-contamination water tests to pre-drilling, pre-fracing “baseline?”] Windle said in a statement.

Even so, the company said it has provided nearby residents with permanent water treatment systems. [But they are still living in explosive risks, just ask Bruce Jack of Spirit River Alberta!]

Attempts in 2015 and 2016 to patch the cement well-casing on the Harman Lewis well apparently didn’t work and, in one attempt to reenter the well bore in 2016, Range mistakenly drilled outside the casing of the gas well, leaving an open bore hole near the gas well, the department said.

Department inspectors continued to find combustible gas in groundwater, in soil surveys in nearby farm fields and surfacing on Greg’s Run and Sugar Run, the department said.

Range has 30 days to appeal the order to the Environmental Hearing Board.

Refer also to:

2011: State eyes new instance of methane near drilling; The flammable, explosive gas was found in several Lycoming County water wells

PA DEP copying Alberta’s AER! Pennsyvlania regulator settles $9 Million (US) environmental violations fine against Range Resources for $0.

PA DEP copying Alberta’s AER! Pennsyvlania regulator settles $9 Million (US) environmental violations fine against Range Resources for $0.

The cheap cost of oil and gas industry polluting drinking water aquifers: Companies & Pennsylvania DEP agree on fines for industry’s illegal methane migration into drinking water wells in 3 counties

What will Alberta’s NDP government do about Encana’s law violations? PA issuing $8.9 million civil penalty for Range Resources leaking gas well that caused gas migration into drinking water wells. “(Range) has the responsibility to eliminate the gas migration that this poorly constructed well is causing,” said state Environmental Secretary John Quigley. “Refusing to make the necessary repairs to protect the public and the environment is not an option.” Looks like refusing is so an option.

USGS and Penn State find high levels of methane in Pennsylvania stream near leaking shale gas well; “Multiple samples from the stream…showed groundwater inflow of thermogenic methane”

“Justice” rears its farcical head, yet again. Radio reporter obtains judge-ordered frac harm settlement ‘n gag, but court stifles him! $3M settlement accidentally made public for 8 plaintiffs against Range Resources & ten other codefendants. Two plaintiffs feel “angry and defeated” by their settlement.

The Frac Fraud Rages on and on: Voyles Lawsuit in Pennsylvania accuses Range Resources *and* lab, TestAmerica, of doctoring water test results

Range Resources Fracking Exec Reportedly Admits Targeting the Poor, Because They Don’t Have ‘The Money To Fight’

Range Resources Fracking Exec Reportedly Admits Targeting the Poor, Because They Don’t Have ‘The Money To Fight’

What else is new? Pa Environmental Hearing Board Dismisses Kiskadden Appeal Claiming Range Resources Contaminated His Drinking Water

West Virginia truck driver, Russell Evans, suing Range Resources over injury claim: ordered to keep working in wet clothes after splashed with flowback water, suffered chemical burns, blisters, rashes

As nasty as Canada’s lying Supreme Court of Canada: Texas Supreme Court Allows Range Resources to Continue Defamation, Disparagement Lawsuit against Steve Lipsky, Citizen with Flammable Methane Contaminated Drinking Water after Nearby Fracking by Range

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Range Resources vs Lipskys and their Methane Contaminated Drinking Water: “That’s exactly what the First Amendment is for — it’s to allow people to express those ideas …This is probably the poster child for what Slapp is”

Range Resources Appeal to keep Frac Chemicals Secret in Pa Lawsuit Denied; PA Superior Court Orders Range Resources, Halliburton, et al to divulge frac fluid ingredients…Again

Superior Court hears arguments on release of frac chemicals; Range Resources appealing 2013 Court Order to release all chemicals

Judge denies Range Resources’ testing request because company still hasn’t complied with court order to disclose frac chemicals, including those proprietary

Recent court rulings: Range Resources responsible for disclosing chemicals; In best position to get chemical list, including trade secrets

Toxic Insanity: DEP issued permit to Range Resources for experimenting, adding radioactive waste to aggregate for paving well pads and access roads

Pennsylvania DEP: Range Resources Inc.’s fracking waste pits contaminated groundwater and soil at three Washington County sites

Pennsylvania: Cecil Township warns about 50 residents of potential water contamination near Range Resources Frac Pit after DEP refuses to

Pennsylvania regulator: Range Resources’ John Day impoundment leak bigger than first thought; Range contaminated groundwater like Talisman did in BC

EPA Defends Three Abandoned Fracking Investigations: Cabot Oil & Gas at Dimock, Range Resources at Parker Co, Encana at Pavillion

New testing finds methane contamination in North Texas drinking water is increasing and spreading; Scientists point to Range Resources, Range and the regulator say nature did it

Duke University tests of drinking water in Weatherford show significantly higher levels of methane than testing by Range Resources Ltd., EPA and the state relied on testing by Range

The Colbert Report on Fracking Flaming tap water and the Hallowich children Gag Gift by Range Resources; Fracking Gag Orders For Kids Go Too Far

Range Resources, Texas Fracker, Accused of Bully Tactics

Groups Urge EPA to Resume Legal Action in Range Fracking Water Contamination Case

Ed Rendell Intervened For Oil Company to Stop EPA Contamination Case Against Range Resources

Range denies intentionally providing inaccurate water testing results Ha! Who believes Range?

Ruling due on unsealing Hollowich family and Range, MarkWest and Williams/Laurel Mtn gas well settlement

Lipsky Methane Contaminated Water Case, Range Resources and EPA changed course after Range protested

Range Resources, still in court with EPA, sues family over contaminated water claims

Justice Department contends Range’s due-process rights weren’t violated

EPA Orders Range Resources to Investigate Drinking Water Contamination in Parker County

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