PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 19, 2012) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it plans to perform water sampling at approximately 60 homes in the Carter Road/Meshoppen Creek Road area of Dimock, Pa. to further assess whether any residents are being exposed to hazardous substances that cause health concerns. EPA’s decision to conduct sampling is based on EPA’s review of data provided by residents, Cabot Oil and Gas, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
“EPA is working diligently to understand the situation in Dimock and address residents’ concerns,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “We believe that the information provided to us by the residents deserves further review, and conducting our own sampling will help us fill information gaps. Our actions will be based on the science and the law and we will work to help get a more complete picture of water quality for these homes in Dimock.”
The sampling will begin in a matter of days and the agency estimates that it will take at least three weeks to sample all the homes. All sampling is contingent on access granted to the property. EPA expects validated results from quality-tested lab to be available in about five weeks after samples are taken.
In addition, EPA is taking action to ensure delivery of temporary water supplies to four homes where data reviewed by EPA indicates that residents’ well water contains levels of contaminants that pose a health concern. EPA will reevaluate this decision when it completes sampling of the wells at these four homes. Current information on other wells does not support the need for alternative water at this time. However, the information does support the need for further sampling.
Natural gas plays a key role in our nation’s clean energy future and the Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that the development of this vital resource occurs safely and responsibly. At the direction of Congress, and separate from this limited sampling, EPA has begun a national study on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources.
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