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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Pittsburgh company will be subpoenaed in Range case

"A Pittsburgh engineering company will be subpoenaed for air-quality test results at several Marcellus Shale impoundments owned by Range Resources, which has not provided the results requested in an ongoing case in Washington County Court. Attorney John Smith, who along with his wife, Kendra, is representing three Amwell Township families who claim their health was affected by Range’s drilling operations, said they “wanted to go right to the source” and get the data from URS Corp., which performed air tests at the Jon Day, Carter and Lowry impoundments in Washington County. He said Range also will be compelled to provide any air test results it has.

President Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca, who is stepping down from the bench Monday, quashed Range’s objection to the plaintiffs’ request to subpoena URS Corp. The case, which has been ongoing since 2012 and already changed hands once from Judge Katherine Emery to O’Dell Seneca, will again need to be assigned to a new judge. The plaintiffs, who live or used to live below the Yeager drilling site in Amwell Township, are Stacey Haney and her two children; Beth and John Voyles and their daughter; and Loren and Grace Kiskadden. The plaintiffs asked for air-quality test results at all of Range’s natural gas sites in June 2013. According to court documents, Range replied the company had not conducted air testing at the Yeager site, but the court said Range “failed to answer the question or raise any objections relative to air tests performed at other impoundments or natural gas drill sites.”"