Saturday, October 15, 2011

Still Waiting for Water in Dimock

The Sautner's & their neighbors still awaiting clean water
How many days months years does it take for a gas company to make good on its promise to provide a permanent supply of clean, fresh drinking water to homeowners affected by bad drilling practices? Well, if you’re Cabot, two years, nine months, fifteen days and counting.

That’s how long 17 homes in Dimock, PA have been without their well water. Water fouled by methane that escaped from what PA’s Department of Environmental Protection has characterized as cementing deficiencies in Cabot’s wells. Despite fines (by DEP) and promises to provide a permanent water supply (by Cabot) people still rely on water trucked in each week.

Nearly three years later, they’re getting tired of it. They would like to be able to turn on their faucets and know that the water streaming out is safe to cook with, safe to bathe in … safe to drink. But recent testing show that gas continues to contaminate Dimock’s groundwater.

Last year Cabot balked at orders to put in a pipeline that would bring fresh water from Montrose to Dimock. Instead, they made a deal with DEP that the company would buy out homeowners or install treatment systems that would remove the methane. Treatment systems that, despite their $30,000 price tag, don’t seem to be working.

Despite the lack of water, some residents worry that state regulators will sign off on Cabot’s efforts and allow drilling to resume. Read more here.

1 comment:

  1. It's obvious what the hold up's Cabot giving orders to the DEP. If I'm not mistaken, former DEP Hanger ruled that Cabot was going to foot the cost of running the water lines into Dimock. Cabot obviously didn't like the sound of that, and came up with what sounded like a decent alternative. Turns out, the water filtration systems are not working in spite of the $30K price tag. The other part of the problem is that some people have accepted this deal, and are now singing the praises of Cabot that what they did worked. Cabot's PR folks are likely trumpeting this all over, especially now that they want to ramp up the drilling again.

    My questions for the DEP is, why did you bow to Cabot and let them change the terms of the deal? without any imput from the affected people? Why is Cabot's publicly bashing the Sautners tolerated? Why does Cabot deserve to be given yet another opportunity to screw up someone else's water? Cabot obviously doesn't know what they are doing, and if they have since figured it out, they are not the ones who are at risk if it goes bad once again.