Long Overdue, EPA Finally Clears Dimock’s Water

Yesterday, after months and months of back-and-forth and wrangling over unfounded claims, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to its press release, “determined that there are not levels of contaminants present [in Dimock, Pa.] that would require additional action by the Agency.” The agency also notes that it “has no further plans to conduct additional drinking water sampling in Dimock.”

This from EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin:

“Our goal was to provide the Dimock community with complete and reliable information about the presence of contaminants in their drinking water and to determine whether further action was warranted to protect public health. The sampling and an evaluation of the particular circumstances at each home did not indicate levels of contaminants that would give EPA reason to take further action. Throughout EPA’s work in Dimock, 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.”

Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) president Kathryn Klaber weighed-in, underscoring the fact that these scientific-based findings will provide closure to the situation. Here’s an overview of the related media coverage, with other news outlets – including Reuters, Scranton Times Tribune, Politico, Akron Beacon Journal, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, StateImpactPA, and WICZ-TV – reporting:

  • “EPA: Water is safe in town in Pa. drilling region”: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that it has completed tests on drinking water in the northeastern Pennsylvania village of Dimock and has determined it is safe to drink. … Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, said the EPA findings mean “we’re now able to close this chapter once and for all.” (Associated Press, 7/25/12)
  • “EPA says Dimock water is safe to drink”: The water in Dimock is safe to drink. That’s the conclusion of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which declared on Wednesday that well water in the Susquehanna County town is safe and requires no further testing. … Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the leading industry group in Pennsylvania, said, “We are very pleased that EPA has arrived upon these fact-based findings, and that we’re now able to close this chapter once and for all.” (Patriot-News, 7/25/12)
  • “EPA says Dimock water safe”: U.S. EPA yesterday ended the latest chapter in the turbulent drilling dispute in Dimock, Pa., finding that contaminant levels in its water show no health threat and no connection to hydraulic fracturing chemicals. … Industry praised EPA’s findings as “fact-based” and cast them as vindication of the safety of drilling. “We are very pleased that EPA has arrived upon these fact-based findings and that we’re now able to close this chapter once and for all,” said Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group. (E&E News, 7/26/12)
  • “EPA Will End Dimock Water Deliveries After Final Water Tests”: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will end water deliveries to residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania, after tests of wells near a gas drilling operation found no unsafe levels of contaminants. … For proponents of the gas-drilling industry…the EPA’s decision today is a victory. “We are very pleased that EPA has arrived upon these fact- based findings, and that we’re now able to close this chapter once and for all,” Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group based in Pittsburgh, said in a statement. (Bloomberg News, 7/25/12)
  • “EPA declares water in Pa. town safe to drink”: The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday declared that drinking water in Dimock, Pa., is safe to drink. … Industry groups are painting Wednesday’s announcement as a victory, and as vindication that fracking is a safe practice when done correctly and under proper state oversight. “We are very pleased that EPA has arrived upon these fact-based findings. We’re now able to close this chapter once and for all,” said Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, which represents companies doing business in the region. (Washington Times, 7/25/12)
  • “EPA: Dimock, Pa., water well tests find low contaminants”: Sampling of private water wells in Dimock, Pa., has been completed and no significant levels of contaminants requiring further action have been found, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 3 office in Philadelphia announced. … Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said the organization was “very pleased that EPA has arrived upon these fact-based findings, and that we’re now able to close this chapter once and for all.” (Oil & Gas Journal, 7/25/12)

And following EPA’s announcement yesterday, MSC member Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, in a statement, said:

  • As with the three previous sets of water samples compiled by the EPA at private drinking water wells in Dimock, PA, the data released today once again confirms the EPA and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) findings that levels of contaminants found do not possess a threat to human health and the environment. These findings are consistent with thousands of pages of water quality data previously accumulated by state and local authorities and by Cabot Oil & Gas. As with the other findings, the EPA did not indicate that those contaminants that were detected bore any relationship to oil and gas development in the Dimock area.
  • “All of us at Cabot are pleased with the Dimock water test results announced today by the EPA,” said Dan O. Dinges, President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. “The conclusions reached by the EPA mirror those previously made by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Cabot. I am satisfied that concerns over water quality have been studied to the highest levels of scrutiny. I hope this will finally put this matter to rest and I personally want to thank all those members of the community who were supportive throughout this period.”