EPA Tells Dimock Residents No Unsafe Levels Of Water Contamination Found

Would that be the same EPA that let BP off the hook for the massive Gulf oil spill? The same EPA that says it's safe to eat Gulf seafood? Just wondering, since they don't seem to have a very good track record with "facts": ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP)

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Would that be the same EPA that let BP off the hook for the massive Gulf oil spill? The same EPA that says it's safe to eat Gulf seafood? Just wondering, since they don't seem to have a very good track record with "facts":

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Federal environmental regulators say testing of scores of drinking-water wells in a northeastern Pennsylvania village has failed to turn up unsafe levels of contamination, providing ammunition to a gas driller that denies it polluted the aquifer with hazardous chemicals while prompting accusations the government is distorting the data.

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.” It was the fourth and final release of data for homes in Dimock, a rural Susquehanna County community that’s found itself in the middle of a passionate debate over the safety of drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in deep rock formations like the Marcellus Shale.

The EPA testing is only a snapshot of the highly changeable aquifer and will not be the final word on the health of the water supply. But pro-industry groups and Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., the Houston-based driller whose faulty gas wells were previously found to have leaked methane into the aquifer, assert the test results justify their position that Dimock’s water is safe.

“Cabot is pleased that EPA has now reached the same conclusion of Cabot and state and local authorities resulting from the collection of more than 10,000 pages of hard data — that the water in Dimock meets all regulatory standards,” spokesman George Stark said Friday.

But residents who are suing Cabot and anti-drilling activists say the EPA has issued a series of misleading statements on what the tests show. They say some of the wells had a combination of chemicals, metals, gases and salts that suggest the influence of drilling and fracking; that drinking-water standards have not been established for some of the toxic substances that turned up in the wells; and that testing also revealed high and sometimes explosive levels of methane in about a third of the wells. Opponents also raised technical concerns about the data.

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