Range Resources looks to settle Mt. Pleasant Township's legal claims
Range Resources Corp. has offered to close several water storage pits and replace some with above-ground tanks to end a dispute with one of its core drilling communities in Washington County.
The gas drilling company wants a settlement to end legal claims from Mt. Pleasant Township that it violated land-use rules by continuing to use wastewater and freshwater pits there more than two years since it moved its drill rigs away.
Township officials will hold a public meeting on Saturday morning to get feedback on the deal and question company officials about how the above-ground tanks would work.
“I think it's a genuine offer,” said Mary Ann Stevenson, township manager. “I was shocked. We had discussed in the past about ‘Hey, how about take that (wastewater) impoundment out of there.' And the answer was always ‘No,' they needed it.”
Range uses more “centralized impoundments” — in-ground pits that hold more than 10 million gallons of shale drilling wastewater before it can be recycled — than any other shale driller in the state.
Residents have complained about the pits and sued the company over nuisance and health concerns from truck traffic, vapors and leaks. The company has denied many of those claims and said the impounds reduce risks regionally by providing efficient, centralized holding ponds for wells as far as 50 miles away.
Company officials are offering to close the Carter impoundment between Walnut and Fort Cherry roads, saying it's been the source of most of the complaints in Mt. Pleasant.
They want the township to sign off on replacing several much smaller pits with above-ground tanks, including the right to hold more water at one of the sites, officials said.
“Their concern was (primarily) with the Carter, and it didn't sound like that was going to go away anytime soon with the township. So we decided, let's look for an alternative solution,” said Range spokesman Matt Pitzarella at the Texas company's Cecil offices. “All of the comments we heard went into this proposal.”
Pitzarella did not have details on the size of the tanks or the cost of the work immediately available, he said. The deal would give it enough capacity to restart drilling in the township as it has planned, he added. Company officials previously said they plan to drill 10 to 20 wells there over several years, starting as soon as this fall.
Seven families near the pits had hired a Cranberry attorney to help the township press its land-use claims against Range and another attorney to press health claims regarding the Carter pit. They could not be reached for response.
Saturday's special meeting will be at 9 a.m. in the Township Community Center in Hickory. The township has a third day of testimony in the land-use case scheduled for Oct. 8.
Timothy Puko is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7991 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Tech sector drives gains on Wall Street
- Acura ILX strikes balance
- Airlines’ bottom lines soar on cheaper fuel
- Comcast abandons Time Warner Cable merger deal amid regulators’ pushback
- Guessing approach can result in big bill
- Experts: If health insurers’ safeguard goes broke, consumers could pay
- What price safety? Cost of crash prevention is roadblock
- Camera prevalence approaches sci-fi realm
- MedExpress bought by United Health Group
- Frederick’s seeks bankruptcy after closing lingerie stores
- Scented society is killing cheap perfume industry