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AP: Range Resources Gets EPA to Reverse Course in Texas Contamination Case

Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Range Resources Director John Pinkerton speaks at the Shale Gas Insight conference in Philadelphia, September, 2012.

The Associated Press has obtained a report conducted for the EPA regarding the source of methane in private water wells in the Fort Worth suburb of Weatherford, Texas. The report links contamination to drilling activity by Range Resources. But the AP reports that Range Resources pressured the EPA to drop their case against the company, or face no cooperation on its national fracking study. More from the AP:

The case isn’t the first in which the EPA initially linked a hydraulic fracturing operation to water contamination and then softened its position after the industry protested.

A similar dispute unfolded in west-central Wyoming in late 2011, when the EPA released an initial report that showed hydraulic fracturing could have contaminated groundwater. After industry and GOP leaders went on the attack, the agency said it had decided to do more testing. It has yet to announce a final conclusion.

The EPA had issued an emergency order in the case, requiring Range to provide residents with clean water. But the agency rescinded that order in March, 2012. The EPA is currently working on a nationwide study looking at the impact of fracking on water supplies, and needs access to drilling company data and work sites.

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