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Environment & Energy

Pennsylvania, Gas Driller Settle Dispute Over Contamination

natural_gas_drilling_marcellus_shale_well_pad_range_resources_fracking.jpg
Keith Srakocic
/
AP
A Range Resources natural gas well site in Washington, Pa., as seen on July 27, 2011.

Pennsylvania environmental regulators and the state's most active gas driller have reached a settlement on claims the Texas-based company failed to repair a natural gas well that contaminated groundwater and a stream.

The Department of Environmental Protection had initially pursued a record $8.9 million fine against Range Resources over the methane contamination in Lycoming County.

Settlement documents filed this week do not require Range to pay a penalty, but give the department the right to pursue one in the future. The settlement says Range and the state agency dropped litigation to "focus their limited resources on a technical resolution of the matter."

The agency said the colorless, odorless gas was detected in private water supplies and a stream following drilling and hydraulic fracturing at a Lycoming County site in 2011.

What's at stake and candidate profiles for statewide races and competitive primaries in Allegheny County.