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EPA Chief Says Krancer’s Letter Won’t Help Dimock Residents

Susan Phillips / StateImpactPA

A rally outside of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia called on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to supply water to Dimock residents.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson says she found it “puzzling” that Pennsylvania’s top regulator would write a letter critical of her Agency’s role in Dimock’s water problems. Last week Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer wrote to Jackson telling her the EPA’s knowledge of the situation is “rudimentary.” Krancer has expressed hostility toward the EPA’s actions several times since taking over as DEP Secretary last year.

At a press conference Friday at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Jackson said federal regulators need more data on Dimock’s water.

“That’s what I’m committed to,” said Jackson. “It’s puzzling to me how writing letters will help the people in Dimock.”

Jackson said the EPA has not gotten all the data they need from the DEP.

“If we can get the data, or if he [Krancer] can assure us that they’re looking at the data,” said Jackson, “then I would be fine.”

In the January 5 letter to Administrator Jackson, Krancer also criticized the EPA’s conclusions about the cause of water pollution in Pavilion, Wyo. The EPA recently released a report that linked fracking operations to residential drinking water contamination in Pavilion. Spotted while wandering the Pennsylvania Farm Show this week, Krancer told State Impact’s Scott Detrow that his letter “speaks for itself.”

The EPA is considering supplying water to Dimock, Pa. residents after the DEP told Cabot Oil and Gas it could stop those deliveries December 1. So Cabot, which the DEP has held responsible for polluting Dimock’s water, no longer provides fresh water to residents.  Administrator Jackson says before the federal government ships any water to Dimock, more testing and data are needed.

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