Handful of Butler Co. Residents Still Suing Rex Energy 5 Years Later

For years MDN has reported on a lingering/ongoing story of a community in western Pennsylvania (in Butler County) who say that nearby drilling by Rex Energy led to contamination of their well water supplies (see PA Residents Weary of Fight with Rex over Water Contamination and Rex Energy Water Contamination Case Shifts Focus to Water Pipeline). Several of the families sued Rex. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection, after an extensive investigation, said that Rex’s drilling is not at fault in the situation. However, for most of the families, the issue progressed beyond blame–apparently water quality in the area was never the greatest to begin with. Rex had built a water line in the area to supply water for fracking and had expected to turn over control/ownership of that line in 2013. That water line can potentially be used to supply fresh water to the affected homes. The debate has been: Who will pay to hook up the homes and to maintain the pipes and infrastructure required? Since Rex, according to the DEP, is not to blame for the poor water quality in the area, the company understandably doesn’t want to pay big bucks to connect and maintain the line to residences in the area. As far as we can tell, the line is not hooked up. The families with bad water still have bad water and depend on donated water to this day for drinking and cooking…

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