A Pennsylvania ruled the settlement of a water contamination case between drillers, including Fort Worth-based Range Resources, and two homeowners should be unsealed. According to a Bloomberg News report, "Chris and Stephanie Hallowich, told National Geographic magazine in 2010 that their water was polluted by the wells, pipelines, processing operations and truck traffic that came into the rural area where they had built their home. They also said they suffered burning eyes, sore throats and other symptoms when gas was released into the air."
Range spokesman Matt Pitzarella said the company, which had opposed the unsealing, is fine with it now. In an e-mail, he told Bloomberg that unsealed documents "should provide the public with even greater clarity that shale gas is being developed safely and responsibly." The National Geographic story, posted online on Oct. 17, 2010, recounts the Hallowich family's experience buying 10 acres in southwestern Pennsylvania in 2007, then finding themselves in the middle of natural gas development. "From a nuisance perspective, I will tell you they have a legitimate concern," the online report quotes Pitzarella as saying of the Hallowich family of four. Range drilled a well "that produces gas beneath the Hallowich site," the report says, and the "company and others say the bulk of their operations—the well sites themselves—are short-term disruptions and that the land is restored, as the state of Pennsylvania requires, within nine months after drilling is complete." It says there are unresolved disputes over water quality from a well on the family's property, which was drilled after Range commenced its own drilling operations.
Bloomberg News has a report on the judge's ruling here.
-- Jim Fuquay