Range Resources “Equipment Failure” Leads to Gas Leak, Precautionary Evacuation in Washington County

for range post

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is investigating an “equipment failure” at a Range Resources well pad in Washington County that caused a gas leak and spurred a precautionary evacuation of about 35 residents Wednesday morning.

DEP spokesman John Poister said Range Resources reported the “equipment failure” at the Herman Pad in Mt. Pleasant to Washington County 911 at 7:14 a.m. Wednesday. The local volunteer fire department and Range Resources personnel responded.

The incident was reportedly under control by 7:54 a.m. No injuries were reported.

Poister said the failure led to a release of methane into the air, and indicated that while such a release is a violation, it is too early to tell if a formal notice of violation would be issued to Range Resources.

“We do not believe there was a tremendous amount of methane released,” he said. However, DEP is taking air quality samples “just to be sure.”

Range Resources spokesman Matt Pitzarella did not immediately return an email seeking further information.

Editor’s Note: Photo was submitted by a resident who lives near the Herman Pad in Mt. Pleasant.

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9 thoughts on “Range Resources “Equipment Failure” Leads to Gas Leak, Precautionary Evacuation in Washington County

  1. V Appalachia says:

    If DEP had the incident “under control” at 7:54 am, does that mean that the evacuees were able to return to their homes by then?

    • Maggie Henry says:

      So should we have a methane tax in addition to a carbon one? It is a more potent GHG!?!

      • V Appalachia says:

        That idea has legs, Maggie. Yesterday, a plan for a “zero methane” release requirement was discussed at Maryland’s Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Commission, the group charged with deciding whether or not shale gas can be safely developed in Maryland.

        Although the Commission spends most of its time developing regulations, rather than addressing the key question—can fracking be done in MD without unacceptable risk?—this plan to limit methane emissions is solid and based on a federal program for capping greenhouse gases. If a driller using best available technology cannot limit its methane emissions to zero, it must purchase credits or futures to offset the remaining emissions. These credits could support existing programs, or possibly be applied to a reforestation program to undo the damage of killing every 5th tree to make room for drill pads.

        It remains to be seen, however, if this proposal will be adopted in regulation, and whether a functional enforcement program will accompany this type of “best practice.”

        Of course, Maryland would do better to realize that the Best Practice is to not frack at all, since it cannot be done “safely” no matter how wishful our thinking is.

  2. serious fines would equal serious attention to eliminating or reducing all emissions

  3. Will follow up on this incident this week and let you guys know what I find out.

  4. […] The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday issued notices of violation to Southpointe-based Marcellus Shale drilling company Range Resources in response to a methane leak last month at a gas well in Washington County. […]

  5. […] Resources gas well Exposure: Air – methane Symptoms: Thirty five residents evacuated to safety. https://marcellusmonitor.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/range-resources-equipment-failure-leads-to-gas-leak… 6064. Susan Knowlden Location: Lycoming County, PA Gas Facility: CGG Land Inc seismic testing […]

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