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Environmental Group Says EPA’s Dimock Results Show Fracking Polluted Water

Susan Phillips / StateImpactPA

Protesters urge EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to intervene in Dimock's water woes last December.

Water Defense, the anti-fracking environmental group formed by actor Mark Ruffalo, disputes the EPA’s conclusions about Dimock’s water tests. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency released water test results from 20 households in the Susquehanna County township. The EPA says analysis of those tests reveal the water is safe to drink.

But Claire Sandberg, of Water Defense, disagrees with the EPA’s conclusion. She says those very same tests show contamination.

“The preliminary results EPA Region 3 has released so far show that 20 percent of wells tested contain dangerous concentrations of methane. When the water that flows into your pipes has levels of methane that high, you are essentially living inside a bomb that could explode at any moment. And that is not safe.”

Sandberg says the evidence shows fracking by Cabot Oil and Gas, contaminated Dimock’s water supply. The EPA decided in January to test 60 private water wells in Dimock after the state Department of Environmental Protection cleared Cabot from providing free water to residents. They released the first 11 test results in March, which showed higher than normal levels of arsenic in two wells. The EPA continues to provide water to three households in Dimock, but they say nothing in the tests so far indicates the water would be unsafe to drink. The agency says their role is not to determine how contaminants entered the water, only to test whether or not the water is safe to drink.

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