EPA Drops Poison Well Case against Texas Driller

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The Environmental Protection Agency has given up on a claim that Range Resources Corp. -- a Fort Worth, Texas, gas driller -- has been contaminating private water wells.

The EPA, along with several Parker County residents, had said hydraulic fracturing -- or fracking -- by the company had tainted the wells with benzene, methane and other toxic gases.

On Thursday,the agency informed Judge Trey Loftin that it would no longer require the organization to provide water for two North Texas families.
Their decision came soon after a judge concluded that residents in the area had worked with the EPA to falsify video evidence about contaminated water.

A member of the Texas Railroad Commission, which overseas oil and gas drilling in the state, criticized the EPA's actions.

Commissioner David Porter said in a statement that the agency was "guilty of fear mongering, gross negligence and severe mishandling of this case."

Meanwhile, Range Resources officials said they were pleased with the agency's decision to drop its complaint.

"It's important for people to know that their environment, health and safety are protected and hopefully this provides them with that comfort," Range Resources spokesman Matt Pitzarella said.

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