EPA Says Gas Driller Tainted Texas Aquifer

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 @ 06:12 PM gHale


A Texas gas driller stands accused of contaminating an aquifer and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an emergency order for the company to provide clean drinking water within 48 hours.
The EPA’s letter gave Range Resources of Forth Worth, TX, two days to provide clean drinking water to affected residents and take steps to resolve the problem.
The EPA and the Texas Railroad Commission began inspecting wells in August after receiving complaints from residents in North Texas’ Parker County. Officials found explosive methane and other contaminants, including cancer-causing benzene, in two wells.
The federal agency issued Tuesday’s order because the state didn’t respond quickly enough.
Range Resources denies being the source of the contamination. And the commission said its staff hasn’t determined a source. Range is cooperating with the EPA investigation and calls the EPA’s order premature, the commission said.
“While the research indicates our activity did not cause any methane in any water well, we’re committed to doing the right thing and to continue to work with regulators to determine the cause and assist landowners,” said Mike Middlebrook, Range Resources vice president of operations. “This is our home, too, and no one wants to make sure this is done right more than we do.”



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