Did DEP Mishandle Range Wastewater Impoundment Investigation?

Range Resources has had a long-running dispute with some of the neighbors near some of it’s wastewater impoundments in Washington, PA. Without recounting the details (see MDN’s previous stories here), the entire thing came to a head recently when the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) completed their investigation and fined Range the highest amount any driller has paid so far in the modern shale drilling era (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). Part of the deal is that Range is closing those impoundments. There are, of course, legal actions involved, as you might expect. One of the neighbors near the Yeager impoundment sued Range with claims of well water contamination from chemicals leaking from the impoundment. The DEP determined the landowner’s well was not contaminated by the Range impoundment and the landowner challenged that finding in DEP’s version of court, the Environmental Hearing Board. Testimony at the hearing last week from a DEP official about the investigation indicates the DEP “might have used incomplete and inaccurate test information to decide whether chemicals leaking…contaminated a water well and springs”…
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Range Recycles ALL its Wastewater + Water from 14 Other Drillers

A number of Marcellus/Utica drillers recycle most, if not all of, the flowback and produced water from the wells they drill. Produced water (from the depths) continues to pour out of wells for years after they’re drilled. Produced water is super salty, filled with minerals. If a driller can’t reuse the water, they must dispose of it–typically via an injection well (in Ohio). Range Resources not only recycles all of its own produced water but also accepts and reuses produced water from 14 other drillers!
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PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments

taken to the woodshedRange Resources has just had their knuckles rapped, hard, by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) with respect to wastewater/recycled water impoundments (i.e. ponds) they operate in Washington County, PA. Range has been fined the most any company has been fined by the DEP in the modern shale era–$4.15 million. They will also be required to close five of the seven impoundments they’ve operated in the county (Range was closing them anyway), and make major upgrades to the two remaining impoundments. There’s no way to sugarcoat this–Range was taken to the proverbial woodshed by the DEP and got a lot more than a switch to the rear-end…
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Range Resources to Close Wastewater Pond in Washington County, PA

So-called “investigative journalist” Amanda Gillooly maintains a “bash Range Resources all the time” blog site called Marcellus Monitor, on which she is reporting that Range Resources has filed a plan with the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection to close the Yeager wastewater impoundment in Amwell Township (Washington County), PA. Gillooly laughably says the impoundment is “the subject of myriad lawsuits and a federal probe.” Apparently two lawsuits is considered a myriad these days…
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Low Levels of Radiation Found in Range PA Wastewater Impoundment

radiation.jpgVery low levels of radiation were present in leftover sludge from a tank where wastewater is stored at a Range Resources wastewater impoundment in Mt. Pleasant Township (Washington County), PA. The good news is that rigorous testing, as Range and others do, caught the issue. The better news is that the radiation levels are so low, they’re barely above “background levels” and you would literally have to sleep next to the tank for years to be affected. In other words, it’s a non-issue, something that doesn’t happen often but when it does, the industry handles it.

Of course if you live near the impoundment and your anti-drilling, you over dramatize it and make it seem as though you’ll be glowing in the dark any day now…
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Range Gets Violation Notice for Wastewater Spill in SW PA

A very small spill (about 40 barrels, or 1,680 gallons) of recycled fracking water with no chemical additives in it was spilled in Cross Creek County Park (Washington County), PA on Feb. 12 by Range Resources. The state Dept. of Environmental Protection has issued Range a notice of violation and is investigating…

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Range Resources Forced to Cop to Environmental “Crimes” in SWPA

After spending years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to investigate Range Resources over a simple regulatory matter settled years ago by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection, PA’s leftist Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, announced on Friday he had finally bullied Range into pleading “no contest” to so-called environmental crimes (misdemeanors), forcing the company to pay $50,000 in fines and $100,000 to Shapiro’s favorite Big Green charities. Does that sound like a success to you? Shapiro spent multiple hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to force the company to pay $150K. Sounds like Shapiro is The Biggest Loser to us.
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PA Landowner Says Range Well Didn’t Cause Methane Problem in Water

Range Resources’ Harman Lewis Unit 1H well in Moreland Township, Lycoming County.

Two days ago MDN told you that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection has once again climbed up on its high horse and is now ordering Range Resources to “fix” a well they claim is leaking methane into the ground, causing nearby water wells and the ground itself to be contaminated (see PA DEP Orders Range to Fix Leaking Gas Well in Lycoming County). Range says the well is not at fault. The landowner whose land where the well is located also says the Range well is not at fault.
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Marcellus Wastewater Plant in PA Extracts 1st Batch of Lithium

lithium chloride molecule

In March, MDN brought you the news that Eureka Resources, which owns and operates three centralized treatment/recycling facilities that process wastewater from the Marcellus Shale, announced a joint venture with MGX Minerals to use MGX’s high tech solution to recover lithium from Marcellus wastewater (see Eureka to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater). In September MGX’s equipment arrived on site in Bradford County, PA and installation began (see Marcellus Wastewater Plant in PA Gets Ready to Extract Lithium). Finally, the day is here! Last week the very first batch of lithium chloride was extracted from Marcellus brine wastewater.
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Marcellus Wastewater Plant in PA Gets Ready to Extract Lithium

Left to Right: Preston McEachern CEO PurLucid, Chris Frantz VP Business Development Eureka, Dan Ertel CEO Eureka, and Jared Lazerson CEO MGX (click for larger version)

In March, MDN brought you the news that Eureka Resources, which owns and operates three centralized treatment/recycling facilities that process flowback/produced waters (i.e. wastewater) from the Marcellus Shale, announced a joint venture with MGX Minerals to use MGX’s high tech solution to recover lithium from Marcellus wastewater (see Eureka to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater). As of yesterday, MGX’s equipment arrived on site in Bradford County, PA.
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EPA’s “No Wastewater @ Sewage Plant” Rule Snags PA Conv. Drillers

A federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation meant to ban wastewater coming from unconventional (shale) wells from being disposed via municipal sewage treatment plants is about to go into effect in August. The new reg, which was first issued by the Obama EPA in 2016 (see EPA Bans Disposal of Frack Wastewater at Public Sewer Plants), will also apply to (snag) a number of Pennsylvania’s conventional oil and gas drillers. Further collateral damage from the new regulation will be local municipalities, some of which will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue–an economic catastrophe for those communities.
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Eureka Signs JV to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater

Eureka Resources Standing Stone Wastewater Treatment Facility

In early March, MDN brought you the news that Eureka Resources, which owns and operates three centralized treatment/recycling facilities that process flowback/produced waters (i.e. wastewater) from the Marcellus Shale, had announced a joint venture with MGX Minerals to use MGX’s high tech solution to recover lithium from Marcellus wastewater (see Eureka to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater). The two companies announced earlier today they have finally signed the jv agreement. The announcement includes details about the jv and the tech that will be used.
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Range, Others Paid SWPA Landowners $3M to Settle “Haney” Case

Three families who lived near a former drill site and frack wastewater impoundment in Washington County, PA sued Range Resources in May 2012 claiming the air they breathe and the water they drink had been contaminated by Range’s operations at the site (see EPA Investigating Range Drill Site in Western PA). Range eventually settled what became known as the “Haney” case with the three families in 2018. The settlement was, until yesterday, secret. Facing ongoing pressure from “media” outlets, Range released a copy of the settlement showing the families got a collective $3 million–minus 33% for overpaid lawyers.
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Continues Vendetta Against Range Resources

Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, and the anti-drilling Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, continue their tag-team effort to criminalize and humiliate Range Resources. Shapiro, a sleazy politician, is investigating so-called environmental “crimes” committed by shale companies in a bid to boost his chances of being the next nominee to run for governor (see PA AG Investigates Shale Drillers for “Enviro Crimes”). One of Shapiro’s sham investigations is into Range Resources and the long-ago settled “Haney” court case. The Post-Gazette is trying to get sealed court documents unsealed in the Haney case.
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Eureka to Extract Lithium from Marcellus/Utica Wastewater

Eureka Resources owns and operates three centralized treatment/recycling facilities that process flowback/produced waters (i.e. wastewater) from the Marcellus Shale. Two of the facilities are located in Williamsport (Lycoming County), PA, and one in Standing Stone Township (Bradford County), PA, near Towanda. Eureka has just announced a joint venture to use high tech to recover lithium from the Marcellus wastewater they process. How cool is that?!
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Antis Try to Pick Open Old Scab of Settled (and Sealed) Range Case

Three families who live near a former drill site and frack wastewater impoundment at the Yeager Marcellus Shale site in Washington County, PA sued Range Resources in May 2012 claiming the air they breathe and the water they drink had been contaminated by Range’s operations at the site (see EPA Investigating Range Drill Site in Western PA). The case was eventually settled and sealed in September 2018.
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