Saturday, December 11, 2010

EPA: Gas driller contaminated aquifer

Updated: Tuesday, 07 Dec 2010, 6:35 PM CST
Published : Tuesday, 07 Dec 2010, 6:35 PM CST

HOUSTON (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has accused a natural gas driller of contaminating an aquifer on which some North Texas residents depend.

The EPA has been frustrated by Texas' slow response to a water contamination issue near Dallas. So on Tuesday, it gave Range Resources in Fort Worth, Texas, 48 hours to provide clean drinking water to affected families and take other steps.

EPA regional director Al Armendariz said the action comes after the Texas Railroad Commission said it would be "premature" to take emergency steps. The commission oversees oil and gas drilling in the state.

Armendariz said the EPA found high levels of explosive methane gas in the drinking water wells of at least two residences in Parker County, where Range has been drilling for natural gas in the Barnett Shale.

Range and the Railroad Commission did not immediately comment.

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