UPDATED: Customize your fracking water data reporting.


I posted this late last night but thankfully a reporter was in the courtroom yesterday. Excerpts from her reporting with additional comments from an observer below under update.

I just heard the most fantastic tale from someone who lives in the Marcellus Shale. This person claims to have attended the preliminary arguments in this lawsuit: Families sue Range Resources for fraud and contamination. (I thought it would never get here.)

Said person claims they heard testimony (this person is not a lawyer and testimony is a legal term) from or about TestAmericathe leading analytical laboratory for environmental testing services in the United States, with over 90 locations nationwide.”

TestAmerica has some cutting edge services for it’s customers. TotalAccess version 4.0 seems to give customers the option to customize and choose which data shows up on their test results. (You know, kind of exactly like what the DEP just got busted for. We call that FrackWatergate.)

Purely hypothetical here but that might allow a fracking company to customize their “data reporting” with just a few keystrokes to exclude any undesirable results.

You might want to check your stack of papers and see if you have any testing results from TestAmerica.

Update: Not hypothetical after allRange Resources says…I’m not sure from reading this news report if they are saying they didn’t change the test reports or if they unintentionally changed them. What do you think?

Range denies intentionally providing inaccurate water testing results
By Linda Metz
jan 29, 2013

The plaintiffs claim Range did not provide them full water sampling results, which would have shown an array of contaminants related to their illnesses.

According to Kendra Smith, Range purposely omitted certain findings from the water testing results that showed contamination. She said the drilling company misrepresented the results even though it knew that the property owners were frantically trying to find the cause of their illnesses.

I don’t see in this report that Range denies using the magic keystrokes provided by TestAmerica to special customers so they can customize test results. They only deny it was intentional. Oopsie?

This is my favorite part but I’m not sure if he is saying you can’t trust us so test yourself or if he is comparing their test results to fake rings.

“It was the plaintiffs’ own water; they had the opportunity to have their water sampled,” said Range attorney Bruce Rende, referring to a case wherein a woman sued her husband over a ring he had given her. The case was thrown out by the court after it was determined the woman could have personally had the ring tested to confirm its authenticity, rather than accept her husband’s word.

Here is a photo of the impoundment.

For some context, comments from an observer follow:

The list of sick children, healthy dead horses (first time you saw those two words together?) and sick and dead dogs is too detailed to report here, but these families have been living a bizarre sort of arsenic and rash hell. You will find an earlier story about the Voyles, submitted by Eric Belcastro, linked [HERE].

You can read about the families and all their illnesses in the original pleading.

A picture of the water buffalo the Haney’s now use.


Update 2: For more information on the DEP scandal see:
DEP FrackWatergate: Questions
What’s in Your Water? Don’t ask the PA-DEP.

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. GhostBlogger says

    “Purely hypothetical here but that might allow a fracking company to customize their “data reporting” with just a few keystrokes to exclude any undesirable results.”

    There’s an issue about that right now:

    PA: Range denies intentionally providing inaccurate water testing results


    I also remember that apparently PG&E said chromium is a needed nutrient to the people in the Hinckley CA area. It’s true that you need chromium, but, NOT as the hexavalent form!

  2. GhostBlogger says

    “(Range attorney Bruce) Rende also contended that certain plaintiffs should not be listed on the lawsuit because there were no direct dealings between them and Range. For example, Rende pointed out Range had direct contact only with Stacey Haney, and not her two minor children, and therefore the children should not be named as plaintiffs. The same was true for John and Ashley Voyles and Grace Kiskadden, he said.”

    “Kendra Smith responded by pointing out that all of those people drank water from the well that Range repeatedly denied contained contaminants.”

    So, any health affects from contaminated water to the children in the area don’t count? MANURE!

  3. Alma Hasse says


    Another great post! We need to launch a billboard campaign and use the above quotes! I have the feeling that it might just PO a lot of parents/grandparents!

    For some reason I keep thinking about lipstick and pigs…


  4. Andy Mechling says

    This is precisely what I have been talking about. In the FWNGAQ study; at sites 6 &7, the “fenceline” sites, FW brought in Test America/Austin.
    At these two sites; there would be no reporting for CS2; regardless of whether or not CS2 was measured in the lab. Zero chance for misunderstanding. Zero chance this superfluous information will ever confuse the public…..or some jury somewhere. This is business as usual. CYA. Get with it.

  5. Dory says

    Range Resources Accused of Water Test Tampering

    ““It was the plaintiffs’ own water; they had the opportunity to have their water sampled,” said Range attorney Bruce Rende, referring to a case wherein a woman sued her husband over a ring he had given her”

    Sounds like Rende is saying you can’t trust Range Resources to test your water correctly and provide a complete report.

  6. Andy Mechling says

    All labs practice the CYA. Test America has fancy software that allows them to do this whilst keeping their hands free and lips closed.

  7. Andy Mechling says

    I think Bruce Rende needs some time away.
    Does he really want to re-write US civil code? Does he really want to take the fight directly to the kids? My money is on those kids….in any type of contest.
    Sorry Bruce; but you will find yourself bested by the likes of Ashley Voyles. I think you don’t want to go there.

  8. Anonymous says

    I’ll bet that most, if not all, of those so-called Certified Labs in Texas are rotten to the core.