EPA’s Final Batch of Testing for Dimock Water Wells Released

clean drinking waterOn Friday the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its results of testing for the fourth and final batch of water wells in Dimock, PA. The results are the same as the first three batches: There is and has been no contamination of the area’s water supply by chemicals from nearby hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale gas wells.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released test results for an additional 12 homes on Friday and said they "did not show levels of contaminants that would give EPA reason to take further action."*

Of course the 11 families who are suing Cabot Oil & Gas in hopes of a big payday, and the anti-drilling activists who are using those families by stoking their fears, accuse the EPA of “misrepresenting the data.” But the EPA says not so fast:

EPA spokesman Roy Seneca defended the quality of the testing Friday, saying "the agency has used the best available scientific data to provide clarity to Dimock residents and address their concerns about the safety of their drinking water."*

The EPA has had a few additional requests to do testing, and they want to retest a few wells, just to dot every i and cross every t. And then they will issue a final report:

"Once all of the sample results are complete, we will conduct a comprehensive review to determine if there are any trends or patterns in the data as it relates to home well water quality," Seneca said.*

Seeing the handwriting on the wall, the families suing Cabot are apparently now in a negotiating mood, to try and salvage anything they can from their attempt to extract money from Cabot:

Meanwhile, the Dimock plaintiffs, who sued Cabot in 2009, appear to have entered into settlement talks with the company. One of their lawyers, Tate Kunkle, mentioned "progressing settlement negotiations" in a court filing late last month.*

*Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun-Bulletin/AP (May 11, 2012) – EPA: Dimock, Pa., well water OK