EPA allegations against Texas company investigated by IG

Lachlan Markey:
A federal watchdog is investigating Environmental Protection Agency enforcement actions against a Texas natural gas company that the agency claimed contaminated drinking water through its drilling activities in the state.


“The EPA’s agenda to stymie domestic energy production isn’t isolated to Region 6—it’s an epidemic, and I think this investigation may uncover further evidence of their war on traditional energy production,” Vitter said.


... internal EPA emails show that even the agency’s own experts doubted the science behind the enforcement actions.

Doug Beak, an environmental chemist at the EPA’s Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Research division, told another EPA official nine days before the enforcement actions were made public that the “limited data set” used in EPA’s groundwater tests meant that evidence of water contamination due to Range activities was “not conclusive.”

“The only way now to compare” methane in surrounding drinking water before and after Range’s drilling activities (the crucial data point), Beak said, “would be to make assumptions to fill in data gaps and I don’t believe we have enough experience at this site or data to do this at this time.”

John Blevins, Region 6’s enforcement director, said in a court-ordered deposition that EPA was aware that groundwater in the area contained methane prior to Range drilling activities there but chose not to include that information in the official record of administrative proceedings.

“We were aware of those facts,” Blevins said, adding, “We don’t believe they’re germane or relevant to the issue at hand.”

The agency moved forward with its enforcement against Range despite the holes in EPA’s data. Armendariz emailed EPA staff on Dec. 7, 2010, and at least one Texas environmental activist to tell them to “Tivo channel 8,” a local station scheduled to break the news.

“Yee haw! Hats off to the new Sheriff and his deputies!” exclaimed one of the activists in an emailed reply.

This the Region where the director bragged about crucifying  those to be used as examples in enforcement to get others to be more compliant with their radical agenda.  As for the enforcement directors statements, apparently the court thought the facts of previous problems was relevant and the case was subsequently dropped.


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