Parker County resident Steve Lipsky says methane in his water well is getting worse, and a second nearby landowner is now complaining of rising methane levels in his own well, according to a recent report by EnergyWire, an online news service. Lipsky's case in late 2010 set off a furious battle that involved Fort Worth-based Range Resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Railroad Commission. The Railroad Commission determined in 2011 that the methane was from a shallow formation that Lipsky's water well had tapped, and in 2012 the EPA unexpectedly withdrew the emergency order it had issued against Range.
In a Sept. 18 report, EnergyWire quotes Lipsky as saying his problem is "much worse." EnergyWire also cites a Railroad Commission inspection report at the home of Carroll Dawson. Dawson's property is roughly 1,000 feet from Lipsky's, according to MapQuest. It is also within 3,000 feet of the two Range wells that were the object of the earlier investigation. Dawson's well was tested in 2010 as part of the EPA's action requiring Range to do water tests within 3,000 feet of the wells, the Railroad Commission report says. The Dawsons told RRC inspectors, in the report dated Aug. 7, that their well stopped producing water in June and their water well driller informed them the well showed methane buildup. The Dawsons had the air inside their home tested, "which they were told is not explosive, but they need to address the methane issue in the water and air at their residence," the RRC report says. The report does not identify a producer, but EnergyWire says the Range wells and a Devon Energy well are in the area.
Range spokesman Matt Pitzarella told EnergyWire that the company recently tested water in the area and found no changes. "Range's ongoing monitoring, which recently concluded, demonstrated nothing unusual, with some variability," he told EnergyWire in an email. He said the testing showed that some water wells were drilled into a gas-bearing formation.
For a complete report, see today's Star-Telegram.
-- Jim Fuquay