Pennsylvania pursuing record $8.9M fine against Texas energy firm, says methane found in water

IndustriesAssociated Press

Pennsylvania environmental regulators are pursuing a record $8.9 million fine against a Texas-based energy company they say repeatedly failed to repair a natural-gas well that contaminated groundwater and a stream in the north-central part of the state.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced the fine Tuesday against Range Resources, whose 5,000-plus wells make it the most active drilling company in Pennsylvania. Range last year paid $4.2 million for violations at a western Pennsylvania well, the largest fine for a company operating in the state.

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The department says the odorless gas methane was detected in private water supplies and a stream following drilling and hydraulic fracturing in Lycoming County in 2011. It cited Range in 2013 and again in May for failing to repair the well and devise a remediation plan.

The company says any methane contamination is not its fault.