Range Resources Corp. came away from its deposition last week of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staffer -- who investigated alleged contamination of North Texas water wells by the company -- touting more than a dozen revelations that the company says support its claim of innocence.

Last Tuesday EPA deposed John Blevins, EPA Region 6 director of compliance assurance and enforcement, for the better part of the day. In a summary of the 327-page transcript of the deposition Range said, "EPA admits that it does not understand how gas is migrating into the Lipsky or Hayley water wells and that it issued the Dec. 7 order to force Range to gather data to answer that question."

In the deposition Blevins testified, "...the issuance of our order was not predicated on understanding the pathway" that gas took to get into the water wells.

Blevins allowed that Range activities "may" have contaminated the wells, but he expressly would not say that they "did."

Further, Range's summary of the deposition asserts that "EPA admits that Range may not have caused or contributed to the natural gas in the Lipsky water well, and contrary to conclusion 46 in its Dec. 7 order, will say under oath only that Range may have caused or contributed to natural gas in the Lipsky water well."

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