EPA Says Water Near Pennsylvania Fracking is Safe, but Would You Drink It?
Friday, March 23, 2012
Dimock Water (photo: YNN-10 Now News)
Experts with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania, that their water—contaminated with chemicals from hydraulic fracturing—is safe to drink.
Locals and some scientists aren’t buying it.
“Any suggestion that water from these wells is safe for domestic use would be preliminary or inappropriate,” Ron Bishop, a chemist at the State University of New York’s College at Oneonta, told ProPublica.
In making its announcement, the EPA did not mention that water samples taken from local wells contained harmful levels of methane gas. Also, the testing showed wells contained “dozens of other contaminants, including low levels of chemicals known to cause cancer and heavy metals that exceed the agency’s ‘trigger level’ and could lead to illness if consumed over an extended period of time,” according to the investigative news website.
Cabot Oil and Gas began fracking operations in the Dimock area in 2006, and by January 2009, some locals were reporting methane bubbling out of their faucets and tap water actually catching fire, meaning that natural gas had contaminated the water. Although the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection fined Cabot $120,000 for numerous violations and Cabot supplied drinkable water to local residents for a few months, the water has since become even more contaminated.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, Matt Bewig
To Learn More:
So, Is Dimock’s Water Really Safe to Drink? (by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica)
Homeowners and Gas Drilling Leases: Boon or Bust? (by Elisabeth N. Radow, NYSBA Journal)
About That Dimock Fracking Study: Result Summaries Show Methane and Hazardous Chemicals (by Christine Shearer, Truthout)
EPA Finally Supplies Drinking Water to Pennsylvania Fracking Victims (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)
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