Range Resources legal strategy in Pennsylvania contamination case similar to Texas case

The legal strategy used by Range Resources in THIS CASE in Pennsylvania sounds very similar to the legal strategy used by Range Resources in THIS CASE in Texas.

Beth Voyles, like the Hallowich family found herself surrounded by Range Resources’ operations including a waste fluid impoundment. Now the well water is contaminated. Sound familiar?

This is an aside:

…Beth Voyles, 54, a horse trainer and dog breeder, who signed the lease with Haney in 2008. She told Haney that her 11 /2-year-old boxer, Cummins, had just died. Voyles thought that he was poisoned. She saw the dog drinking repeatedly from a puddle of road runoff, and she thought that the water the gas company used to wet down the roads probably had antifreeze in it. “We do not use ethylene glycol in the fracking process,” Matt Pitzarella of Range Resources told me. He also said that the dog’s veterinarian couldn’t confirm the dog had been poisoned and that another possible cause of death was cancer.  NY Times

The things Matt Pitzarella says for Range Resources are very similar to the things David Poole, Sr. VP and General Counsel says for Range Resources. If you check on FracFocus.org you can see that Range Resources does indeed use ethylene glycol in their fracking fluid.

Anyway back to the topic:

Here is what Voyles alleges in the case:

“She alleges that her quality of life and health have decreased dramatically since drilling of natural gas wells at the site and completion of the impoundment. Her health ailments include rashes, blisters, light-headedness, nose bleeds and lethargy,” court documents indicate. “She avers medical testing revealed the presence of elevated concentrations of arsenic, benzene, and toluene in her body.”


“She also alleges that she and area residents have suffered declining health, loss of animals, and water and air contamination,” the document continues. “Voyles alleges the adverse health effects are caused by exposure to chemicals used in the fracking process. She alleges that she and her neighbors draw drinking water from the same water table as the site and consequently, when one well is contaminated all wells are contaminated.”

Here is what Range Resources alleges in the case:

Court records further state: “(Range) further contends that Voyles disregarded or misrepresented the results of water quality testing” and as a result her pleading is a “factually inaccurate” and “insufficient as a matter of law.”

Where have we heard that one before? Oh yeah, HERE. And in my subpoena. (Or maybe it wasn’t actually in the subpoena but in “The Letter that David Poole wrote.”)

Range Resources will need to go on a fishing expedition in Pennsylvania similar to the one they are on in Texas. Watch for strange men at your door delivering subpoenas that want all your emails that contain the word “Range”.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. DEB says

    Sounds eerily similar. Do they think we don’t talk to one another? All I have to say is “God Bless the internet” for bringing us all together to compare notes. Seems like they think we are still using snail mail and party lines. Look out gassers. We all talk!