2009-06-11 / Local & State

Gas Drilling Wastewater Leaks Into Pa. Stream

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - A gas-drilling company says it believes a vandal loosened bolts on a pipe that leaked wastewater into a southwestern Pennsylvania stream and killed aquatic life.

Range Resources Corp. spokesman Matt Pitzarella said Friday it is impossible that three bolts securing a coupling loosened by themselves after the pipe had already passed a pressure test and inspection.

He said the leak was brief and that employees of the Fort Worth, Texas-based company responded quickly to stop it.

The wastewater is from a recently drilled Marcellus Shale gas well. Pitzarella says it leaked into a farm's drainage ditch that led to an unnamed tributary of Cross Creek Lake in Washington County.

State environmental regulators are weighing penalties against Range Resources. Salamanders, crayfish, insects and at least one fish were killed.

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