The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is signaling their intent to continue overreaching their authority by regulating oil and gas drilling in the U.S., violating states’ constitutional rights to do so themselves. The EPA’s “back door” way of regulating hydraulic fracturing (buying them time while they try to regulate it by the front door with their multi-year study of the process), is by controlling the disposal of wastewater produced during fracking. From the EPA’s press release yesterday:
New York’s passage of new drilling rules to allow for shale gas drilling has had more twists than a Greek tragedy and has taken longer to finish than a death scene in an opera. MDN has asked the rhetorical question, several times, that even IF new rules are passed and permits are issued, will drilling companies bother to show up? See this MDN article from March of this year. Now, others are starting to raise the same question:
Dimock, PA has been a rallying cry for many who oppose shale gas drilling. For those with only a peripheral knowledge of the struggle, the word Dimock conjures up an image of nasty hydraulic fracturing fluids seeping into ground water supplies and contaminating them so they are now undrinkable by humans or animals. But such an image would be wrong.
What happened in Dimock, according to the PA State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), is that the drilling company Cabot Oil & Gas did not properly case (enclose the bore hole), which led to methane (natural gas) escaping through cracks into the local water supply for area homes. Methane gas in water does not kill when consumed, but it can become an explosion hazard as happened with one local water well in the area.