The latest development in the unfolding story of several local water wells contaminated by very deep Devonian natural gas in Dimock, PA, is that the local drilling company, Cabot Oil & Gas, has been served by the PA Department of Environmental Protection with a “Notice of Violation.” What does that mean? According to an article in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin:
While tapping gas from the Marcellus Shale formation, the company has violated the state’s Oil and Gas Act and Clean Stream Laws, the notice states. Both of those regulations protect drinking water supplies from natural gas hazards.
Gas from Cabot drilling operations has migrated into an aquifer providing water for local residents, the DEP has determined. More than a dozen wells proving water to homes along and near Carter Road have been affected. Four have been taken offline and others have been vented.
Not only that, but the Notice also says Cabot has not provided “timely” records of drilling to the DEP. It seems the paper-pushers are in a snit at the DEP. This is not to make light of the serious issue that a dozen homes have been affected, with four of them requiring water to be trucked in. The truth is, neither the DEP nor Cabot still understands how this has happened. Yes, you drill down into the earth for natural gas and it’s no surprise you find it, especially in the Marcellus! However, the kind of natural gas that is “contaminating” the water aquifer in Dimock is from the very very deep Devonian layer, far below where Cabot is drilling. Makes sense that Cabot somehow caused this, but let’s figure how and why, shall we? Before the finger pointing starts in earnest?
As Cabot points out, the DEP’s assessment that Cabot is 100% to blame is premature at this stage. Cabot has been completely above board and transparent throughout the process.
Read the full article: Pa. finds gas-drilling firm in violation (Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin)
Download the Notice of Violation (112 KB)