ShareThis Page
Business Headlines

Report: DEP drops $9 million penalty against Range Resources in Lycoming case

| Saturday, May 21, 2016, 8:03 p.m.

WILLIAMSPORT — A Texas natural gas driller no longer is facing a nearly $9 million civil penalty from the state Department of Environmental Protection for alleged violations at a well in eastern Lycoming County.

The DEP on May 6 notified Range Resources-Appalachia it no longer would pursue an $8.957 million fine for alleged violations related to the gas well on the property of Lewis Harman outside Hughesville.

Range then withdrew the appeal before the Environmental Hearing Board and that board Monday formally dismissed it.

Attempts Saturday to learn why DEP decided not to pursue the civil penalty were unsuccessful.

Range has no comment, spokesman Matt Pitzarella said, but he added the company continues “to work cooperatively with DEP to investigate and evaluate this matter.”

It was one of two appeals Range had pending before the board stemming from DEP's allegations about the Harman well.

Still pending is one that accuses Range of violating the Clean Streams Law and the Oil and Gas Act.

The DEP said stray gas migration from the Harman well is the cause of high levels of methane in five water wells in Green Valley below. It wants Range to submit and implement a remedial plan for the well.

According to a status report filed April 22, the parties continue to discuss potential frameworks to resolve the appeal.

Range, headquartered in Fort Worth, claims DEP has failed to identify any violations associated with the Harman well.

Range and Harman claim naturally forming methane existed before the well was drilled in 2011.

Range has given the DEP a complete isotopic analysis that it claims proves what is in the well water did not come from the gas well.

Range has provided purification systems to five residents in Green Valley, explaining it acts first and investigates later when a situation with water develops.

The company also had challenged actions the DEP wanted taken at the same well including flaring.

It withdrew that appeal in February after the DEP told the driller it either had addressed them completely or they were rendered moot.

No gas has been extracted from the well, which is on an 8-acre site, because it is not connected to a pipeline.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me