DEP, Range Resources confirm leak at Amwell impoundment

April 17, 2014
The Department of Environmental Protection confirmed a leak at Range Resources' John Day impoundment in Amwell Township.

The Department of Environmental Protection confirmed a “significant leak” at the John Day wastewater impoundment operated by Range Resources.

DEP spokesman John Poister said Range notified them Wednesday of a tear in the liner of the Amwell Township impoundment.

“They were inspecting and taking up the liner and discovered soil contamination,” Poister said.

Poister said a DEP inspector already visited the impoundment and deemed it a significant leak.

“(Range) has already contacted a consultant,” Poister said.

Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for Range Resources, said the leak “doesn’t appear to have impacted property or drinking water.”

“Employees were in the process of inspecting and upgrading the impoundment when they discovered that some water leaked out,” he said.

Pitzarella said the leak was contained and employees are monitoring the situation.

“We are doing additional testing,” he said. “We might remove the soil and do a fresh water flush.”

Pitzarella said the risk level in this particular case was “low.”

“Basically, we are dealing with salt water.”

Pitzarella said Range discloses incidents on a annual basis, and they have not had an incident that has significant or lasting impact on the environment or safety of surrounding areas.

Poister said Range will be issued at least one violation as a result of the leak. He said it was too early to tell if civil penalties would accompany the violations. He said the leak is still under investigation.

“We will ensure that the area is cleaned up. Then we will sit down and see what went wrong and how we can prevent it from happening again.”

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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