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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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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PA Supreme Court Rejects Range Resources Well Contamination Case

For years we’ve followed the story of Range Resources and their (former) wastewater impoundments in Washington County, PA. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined Range a whopping $4.15 million for violations in September 2014 (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). Some of the nearby neighbors claimed that Range’s leaky impoundments (a quarter of a mile away) contaminated their water wells. One of those landowners was Loren Kiskadden, who sued Range in civil court. The problem is, the DEP determined that the nearby Yeager impoundment had not contaminated Kiskadden’s well, which led to allegations that the DEP had bungled the investigation (see Did DEP Mishandle Range Wastewater Impoundment Investigation?). Kiskadden had to press on, because if the DEP doesn’t reverse its finding, he has no civil case against Range. Press on he did (see Hearing on Range Yeager Impoundment/Water Contamination Continues). The matter was heard by the DEP’s Environmental Hearing Board (EHB). The EHB found that Kiskadden didn’t have a case–his well was not contaminated by Range’s impoundment. So Kiskadden and his lawyers asked for a re-hearing. The result of that re-hearing came in December 2015 and, we thought, finally closed the door, once and for all (see DEP Final Determination: Range Didn’t Pollute Kiskadden Water Well). But no, that was not the end. Kiskadden appealed again, and in October 2016 a Commonwealth Court appeals panel affirmed the EHB’s 2015 dismissal of Kiskadden’s appeal of the DEP 2011 ruling that Range’s Yeager site operations did not contaminate Kiskadden’s well water. Case closed, right? Nope. Kiskadden had one card left to play and he did it–filing an appeal with the PA Supreme Court (see Landowner Appeals Range Well Contamination Case to PA Supreme Crt). Earlier this week, the Supreme Court sent back the appeal marked “case denied.” The fat lady has now sung…
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Landowner Appeals Range Well Contamination Case to PA Supreme Crt

lawsuitFor some time we’ve followed the story of Range Resources and their (former) wastewater impoundments in Washington County, PA. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined Range a whopping $4.15 million for violations in September 2014 (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). Some of the nearby neighbors claimed that Range’s leaky impoundments (a quarter of a mile away) contaminated their water wells. One of those landowners was Loren Kiskadden, who sued Range in civil court. The problem is, the DEP determined that the nearby Yeager impoundment had not contaminated Kiskadden’s well, which led to allegations that the DEP had bungled the investigation (see Did DEP Mishandle Range Wastewater Impoundment Investigation?). Kiskadden had to press on, because if the DEP doesn’t reverse its finding, he has no civil case against Range. Press on he did (see Hearing on Range Yeager Impoundment/Water Contamination Continues). The matter was heard by the DEP’s Environmental Hearing Board (EHB). The EHB found that Kiskadden didn’t have a case–his well was not contaminated by Range’s impoundment. So Kiskadden and his lawyers asked for a re-hearing. The result of that re-hearing came in December 2015 and we thought it finally closed the door, once and for all, on the case (see DEP Final Determination: Range Didn’t Pollute Kiskadden Water Well). But no, that was not the end. Kiskadden appealed again, and in October 2016 a Commonwealth Court appeals panel affirmed the EHB’s 2015 dismissal of Kiskadden’s appeal of the DEP 2011 ruling that Range’s Yeager site operations did not contaminate Kiskadden’s well water. Case closed, right? Nope. Kiskadden has one card left to play, and he’s done it. Kiskadden’s attorneys have appealed the case to the PA Supreme Court…
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Judge Drops Testing Lab from Ongoing Range Res. Lawsuit in W PA

Gavel-falling.jpgIn June MDN brought you a report about a family (John and Ashley Voyle) living near a former Range Resources wastewater impoundment in Washington County, PA who had sued not only Range, but a water testing company (TestAmerica Laboratories) in a lawsuit alleging their water well had been contaminated by Range’s impoundment. The water testing company was made part of the lawsuit because, said the Voyles, the company allowed their test results to be doctored by Range before the results were reported to the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection. That aspect of this long, drawn-out lawsuit has been decided. The judge in the case said TestAmerica is not at fault and has been removed from the lawsuit…
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Homeowner Claims Range Doctored Well Test Results, Suing for Fraud

lawsuitIn 2014, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined Range Resources a whopping $4.15 million for violations related to several of Range’s wastewater impoundments in Washington County, PA (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). Some of the nearby neighbors claimed that Range’s impoundments had leaked, contaminating their water wells. One of those landowners was Loren Kiskadden, who sued Range in civil court. The problem is, the DEP found that the nearby Yeager impoundment had not contaminated Kiskadden’s well, which led to allegations that the DEP had bungled the investigation (see Did DEP Mishandle Range Wastewater Impoundment Investigation?). Kiskadden had to press on, because if the DEP didn’t reverse its finding, he would have no civil case against Range. Press on he did (see Hearing on Range Yeager Impoundment/Water Contamination Continues). The matter was heard by the DEP’s Environmental Hearing Board (EHB). The EHB found that Kiskadden didn’t have a case–his well was not contaminated by Range’s impoundment. So Kiskadden and his lawyers asked for a re-hearing. Kiskadden’s re-hearing request got turned down (see DEP Final Determination: Range Didn’t Pollute Kiskadden Water Well). End of story. Except, we now have a new wrinkle. Another homeowner–we’re not sure if this is for the Yeager or a different impoundment–is suing both Range and a lab Range used to test their water well claiming fraud–that Range changed the test results that the DEP based its “faulty” investigation on…
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DEP Final Determination: Range Didn’t Pollute Kiskadden Water Well

Another “Range Resources impoundment leak polluted my water well” case was quietly resolved just a few days ago. You may recall that for some time we’ve been following the back and forth between Range Resources and their (former) wastewater impoundments in Washington County, PA. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined Range a whopping $4.15 million for violations in September 2014 (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). Some of the nearby neighbors claimed that Range’s leaky impoundments (a quarter of a mile away) contaminated their water wells. One of those landowners was Loren Kiskadden, who is suing Range in civil court. The problem is, the DEP found that the nearby Yeager impoundment had not contaminated Kiskadden’s well, which led to allegations that the DEP had bungled the investigation (see Did DEP Mishandle Range Wastewater Impoundment Investigation?). Kiskadden had to press on, because if the DEP doesn’t reverse its finding, he has no civil case against Range. Press on he did (see Hearing on Range Yeager Impoundment/Water Contamination Continues). The matter was heard by the DEP’s Environmental Hearing Board (EHB). The EHB found that Kiskadden didn’t have a case–his well was not contaminated by Range’s impoundment. So Kiskadden and his lawyers asked for a re-hearing. The result of that re-hearing just came back and closes the door, once and for all, on the case…
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SWPA Landowners Allege Range Withheld Info in Water Well Case

withhold informationMDN has been highlighting stories and writing about potential water well contamination by Range Resources at their Yeager well and wastewater impoundment site in Amwell Township (Washington County), PA since 2012 (see MDN’s list of Range/Yeager stories here). Residents living nearby have claimed their wells were contaminated, and their health affected. Range finally closed the wastewater impoundment at the site last year (see Range Resources to Begin Closing Yeager Impoundment on Monday). A judge ordered Range to produce a list of all chemicals used at the site since it was first drilled. One of the things Range didn’t disclose, according to the residents living nearby, was that the company used “tracer” chemicals when they originally drilled the well in 2009. Tracers are used to track the presence of fracking fluids. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) eventually ruled the water wells near the Yeager site were not contaminated by Range’s activities. The landowners are now appealing that decision based on this “new” evidence that Range used tracers, but never disclosed the use of tracers that investigators could have used in looking for evidence of contamination. The neighbors are alleging that Range engaged in a cover-up to keep what might have been damning evidence from the plaintiffs…
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PA DEP Slaps Range with Record $8.9M Fine for Methane Migration

slap across the faceLast September Range Resources was assessed a then-new record high fine of $4.15 million for a series of leaking frack wastewater impoundments in southwestern Pennsylvania (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). A short time later, in October 2014, EQT replaced Range as the “highest ever” fine when the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) assessed EQT a $4.53 million fine for a leaky wastewater impoundment in northeastern PA, in Tioga County (see PA DEP Levies Biggest Fine Ever, $4.5M Against EQT). There’s a new mafia don, er a, “sheriff” in town–PennFuture DEP Secretary John Quigley–and he’s just slapped Range Resources with a new highest-ever fine nearly double EQT’s fine: $8.9 million. The offense? Methane migration from a well in Lycoming County, PA. The DEP says the Range well, drilled in 2011, has been leaking methane since at least 2013 (improperly cemented well casing) and the methane has “contaminated the groundwater-fed wells of private water supplies, and a nearby stream.” The DEP doesn’t say how many water wells have been affected nor which stream is affected…
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Range Capitulates, Closing 4 Freshwater Ponds in Mt. Pleasant, PA

More than two years of acrimony and lawsuits are now over for Range Resources in Mt. Pleasant (Washington County), PA. Mt. Pleasant is one of the original seven selfish towns that sued PA to overturn portions of the Act 13 oil and gas law. The town was giving Range a hard time over four freshwater ponds (called “impoundments,” not to be confused with wastewater impoundments) the company was using to drill wells in nearby non-Mt. Pleasant locations. The town served the company with notices of violation in July 2013 and then held a public hearing in August 2013 where things got heated between the town and Range (see Range Resources Argues with Mt Pleasant over Water Impoundment). Mt. Pleasant kept after them (see Mt. Pleasant Zoning Bd Says Range Water Impoundments in Violation), and after them (see Mt Pleasant Twp Shenanigans re Range Request for Water Ponds), and after them (see Mt. Pleasant, PA Continues to Ride Range Over Water Ponds). Sooner or later a company can take a hint that a township is anti-business. Range is throwing in the towel, closing down all four freshwater ponds, and leaving town…
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Range Loses 2nd Appeal, Must Provide PA Well Site Chemical List

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 operation at the site (see EPA Investigating Range Drill Site in Western PA). Litigation ensued, and years passed. In 2013, a Washington County court ordered Range (not its contractors, but Range itself) to disclose a list of all chemicals used at the site–right down to the type of motor oil used in vehicles coming and going at the site (see PA Judge Forces Range, Contractors to Provide Chemical List). It will be an almost impossible task to construct such a list at this point, especially in light of the fact they’re in the process of closing the site. So Range appealed. Last June they lost that appeal (see Court Says Range Resources Must Disclose Chemicals in SW PA). Range appealed again, and last week they lost that second appeal…
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Strange: DEP Fines Range Resouces $1.75M for Water Withdrawals

A strange announcement from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Friday says that Range Resources has agreed to pay $1.75 million to the state for failure to keep track of water withdrawals made by the company (takes a lot of water to frack, much of which comes from creeks and rivers), and for exceeding the amount of water withdrawn according to the plan they have on file with the DEP. What’s strange about the announcement is that a) you can’t find it on the DEP website itself, b) Range was making withdrawals and not recording/tracking the withdrawals from 2009 to 2014–five years–but apparently the DEP didn’t notice or didn’t care, and c) $950,000 of the $1.75 million “fine” (more than half) will go to fix up and operate the Hamilton Abandoned Mine Treatment System in Findlay Township, Allegheny County…
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Second Generation Wastewater Impoundments – Truly Safe?

Little did we know it at the time, but former PA Dept. of Environmental Protection Chris Abruzzo’s last public interview was granted to MDN editor, Jim Willis, just three weeks ago before Abruzzo resigned (see PA DEP Sec. Abruzzo’s Last Public Interview…with MDN). Topic A that Jim asked Sec. Abruzzo was about the recent record fine of Range Resources ($4.15 million) for a series of leaky wastewater impoundments. Abruzzo stated during that interview, several times, that newer “next generation” impoudments have come along that are much safer. What are these “next generation” impoundments and are they really safer?…
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SkyTruth Uses Anti-Drilling Volunteers to Count Impoundments

It seems that impoundment hysteria is the newest rage among anti-drillers. An impoundment is nothing more than a pond. As it relates to the drilling industry, the pond (or impoundment) may hold freshwater or it may hold frack wastewater, depending on what kind of impoundment it is. Range Resources was fined last week for leaking impoundments in Washington County (see PA DEP Fines Range Resources $4.15M for Wastewater Impoundments). What better time for an anti-fracking organization like the so-called “SkyTruth” to poke its head up and claim to be mapping impoundments in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. To hear SkyTruth tell it, there’s impoundments hiding just about everywhere…
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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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