Range Resources pleads no contest to environmental crimes brought by Pa. attorney general

Written by on June 15, 2020

 Range Resources pleads no contest to environmental crimes brought by Pa. attorney general

By Reid Frazier, StateImpact Pennsylvania. 

June 15, 2020

A Range Resources well site in Washington County in 2018. Photo | Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Range Resources has pleaded no contest to environmental crimes brought by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. The company was charged by a grand jury with multiple counts of discharging industrial waste at a pair of sites in Washington County. For StateImpact Pennsylvania, the Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier reports. 

“Range Resources was careless — and carelessness in the fracking industry can have consequences that can last for decades,” Shapiro said, in a video statement announcing the charges.

 video statement 

Range Resources didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. 

The charges stem from leaks and spills at two of the company’s sites where it stored fracking waste. One was the Brownlee site, where a tank leaked two-thousand gallons of fracking waste into a nearby field in 2018. The other is the Yeager impoundment, which was at the center of a high-profile legal case in which three families sued the company for alleged contamination of their air and water. 

The company fought the case for years, but two years ago, Range and several other companies settled with the plaintiffs for $3 million. 

In a filmed statement presenting the charges, Shapiro said the company kept using the site even though employees found evidence it was contaminating nearby groundwater

“This wastewater pond should have been shut down for investigation at that very moment. Instead, nothing was done until three years later,” said Shapiro.

As part of its plea, Range will pay $150,000 in fines. Shapiro said his investigation is ongoing. 


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