- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Energy company Range Resources has agreed to pay a $4.15 million fine for problems at a western Pennsylvania site that handled natural gas drilling waste. It’s the largest penalty the state has ever imposed on the shale gas industry.

Range, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, says Thursday that it “accepts” the Department of Environmental Protection fine and is “deeply disappointed” that the violations occurred. The fine was imposed for leaks at open pits Range operates to store the so-called flowback waste from natural gas wells. The liquid waste can include naturally occurring ultra-salty brine water, heavy metals, and chemicals used in the drilling process.

DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo says that the landmark agreement “establishes a new, higher benchmark for companies” and is “an environmental win” for Pennsylvania.

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