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Drilling Impoundments Raise Concerns Across Area

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Andy Sheehan Andy Sheehan
KDKA-TV Investigator Andy Sheehan began his broadcast journalism...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — They’re the size of a football field, holding millions of gallons of drilling water, and recently they’ve attracted the unwanted attention of state environmental regulators.

“There are three impoundments we have concerns about,” said John Poister, of the Department of Environmental Protection.

Just recently the DEP issued a notice of violation to Range Resources for traces of chloride found in the soil near this impoundment in Amwell Township, Washington County.

This after Range excavated some 15,000 tons of soil from the impoundment after a similar discovery there.

Letters have also been sent to homes in the vicinity of the impoundment in Cecil Township to report any suspicious taste or smell in their well water.

“We want them to be alert. We want them to be concerned, but we don’t want them to panic,” said Poister. “But we are concerned about this, so if they sense a problem or see a problem or taste a problem in their water, they will contact us immediately.”

For its part, Range says it has been the one to report the chloride, which they say is a relatively harmless salt and poses little threat to the residents.

Range says the water stored at the impoundments is either fresh or drilling water that has been treated and recycled, clean except for the salt.

In a statement, Range Resources says:

“The health or safety of nearby residents has been unaffected and the limited environmental impacts can and have been mitigated. Protecting health and safety of the communities where we work is a core commitment for us.”

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