Woman files suit over smelly Marcellus wastewater
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Something stinks around a Marcellus Shale wastewater reservoir operated by Range Resources in Amwell, Washington County, according to local resident's lawsuit, but a state inspector said administrators told him to ignore complaints.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg by Beth Voyles, states that John Carson, a Department of Environmental Protection field inspector, said superiors in Harrisburg and the southwest DEP regional office in Pittsburgh told him he was not permitted to accept any complaints, investigate or file any citations against Range for noxious odors allegedly coming from the reservoir known as the "Yeager impoundment."
Range denies there was ever any odor associated with the reservoir.
DEP declined to respond to questions, saying it could not discuss the case because it "may be a party to pending litigation."
The court case comes as the DEP struggles with news reports about procedural changes that require field inspectors to get approval from administrators in Harrisburg before issuing violation notices to Marcellus Shale drilling operations or other state agencies.
The lawsuit asks the court to force the DEP to accept and investigate Ms. Voyles complaint, take water, soil and air samples and issue notices of violation if warranted.
In response to a supplemental filing today by Ms. Voyles, the court has scheduled an expedited hearing for 1:30 p.m., June 1 in Harrisburg.
First Published May 25, 2011 6:49 pm