The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has agreed to a settlement with natural gas driller Range Resources over air pollution violations at two of the company’s well pads.
The violations stem from operations at well pads in Washington County. The sites had reported emissions from 2013 to 2015 of over 50 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which qualified them as “major sources” of air pollution, even though they didn’t have major source air permits.
The company later installed pollution controls on its storage tanks and other equipment at the sites, which lowered its emissions under the 50-ton threshold, according to a DEP release. The DEP said the company violated regulations when it installed those controls, because it failed to acquire the appropriate permits to install the new equipment.
The DEP said no other well pads owned by the company had the same type of problems.
Range agreed to pay nearly $200,000 in fines. The DEP said the two Washington County communities where the violations took place — Cross Creek and Mount Pleasant townships — can apply to use part of that fine toward local parks and pollution reduction efforts.
This story is produced in partnership with StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among The Allegheny Front, WPSU, WITF and WHYY to cover the commonwealth's energy economy.