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Activists Plan to Confront EPA Chief Over Dimock's Water

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (L) testifies at a Congressional hearing in May, 2011.

Fracking opponents say Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson should stick to the EPA’s promise and provide fresh water to Dimock residents. An environmental group plans to protest at a talk Jackson is scheduled to deliver in downtown Philadelphia on Friday morning. Jackson will be speaking, along with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Brazil’s Minister of the Environment, at a forum on urban sustainability.
Protecting Our Waters, a Philadelphia based environmental group, is sponsoring the rally, which is meant to put pressure on the EPA.

Please note that, far from being hostile to Lisa Jackson and the EPA, we consider them important allies. But insiders have said to us, just as the Obama Administration has said to us, “How do you expect us to push back on the gas industry, which sends high-powered lobbyists to our offices literally every day, if you don’t have large numbers of people out in the street? Keep the pressure up!”

In 2009, the state Department of Environmental Protection forced Cabot Oil and Gas to provide Dimock residents with fresh water after it found the energy company responsible for polluting residential water wells. But in November, the DEP, under the new Corbett Administration, told Cabot that it no longer had to provide water deliveries. Since then, residents have been relying on donations. Last week, Dimock residents say they had heard from regional EPA officials that the federal government would step in to provide fresh water. But a day later, the EPA reversed itself. Also last week, DEP Secretary Michael Krancer sent a chiding letter to the EPA, suggesting the feds don’t know what’s going on in Dimock.

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