EPA Starts Water Deliveries in Dimock, PA

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is getting itself involved in the ongoing situation in Dimock, PA by delivering water to four households that were affected by methane migration (see MDN’s recent Weekly Update for our view on EPA sticking its nose in). After the EPA told these same families two months ago their water was safe, they reversed course and now say they want to run some water tests themselves, and in the meantime they’ll deliver water to four of eleven families who have refused the Pennsylvania DEP’s settlement of the matter.

The EPA promised water to these same families a few weeks ago and reneged within 24 hours. This time they kept their promise.

A tanker truck has made its first delivery of fresh water to four homes in a northeastern Pennsylvania village where federal regulators say they found arsenic and chemicals often used in gas drilling in the well water.

The Environmental Protection Agency paid for Friday’s delivery in Dimock, Susquehanna County, after reviewing water sampling data that regulators say revealed high levels of pollution in residential wells.

Anti-drilling activists hailed the EPA move at a news conference.

But Houston-based driller Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., the company blamed for the polluting the wells, issued a statement criticizing EPA for its involvement, saying state regulators had already determined the residents’ water met federal regulatory standards. Cabot also noted that EPA told the residents less than two months ago their water was safe.*

Be sure to vote in the current MDN poll on the right-hand side of any page. This poll asks what you think about the EPA’s involvement in Dimock.

*Wilkes-Barre The Times Leader/AP (Jan 20, 2012) – Water delivered to Pa. village with tainted wells