By Amanda Gillooly
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday confirmed that an inspector had been called to a centralized impoundment in Washington County operated by Range Resources after residents complained about unusual activity there.
DEP spokesman John Poister said there was “material that raised some concern” at the Carter impoundment in Mt. Pleasant Township, and that the department was awaiting the results of soil characterization tests that Range Resources is conducting.
He said there was an issue with the weir system at the impoundment, which he said is used to filter solids out of water used in the fracking process.
Residents who live near the impoundment became concerned when they saw blue containers at the impoundment with stamps reading DOT SP 11406. An Internet search shows that these containers are used to transport radioactive waste.
Asked if those containers were actively being used by Range Resources to remove and transport radioactive waste, Poister said he did not know, but that the company would be required to have a permit known as a Form U in order to do so.
“I have not seen a Form U,” he said.
Poister said it was “premature” to draw conclusions until the soil characterization tests were completed. He said the results would likely be available Friday afternoon.
He also confirmed that DEP’s “radiation people are not involved,” adding that the department’s oil and gas folks were handling the issue.
“We have to wait and see what turns up,” Poister said.
Range Resources spokesman Matt Pitzarella did not immediately return an email Thursday seeking further details.
Editor’s Note: Photos of the container and impoundment were submitted.