Saturday, January 7, 2012

EPA Promises Water for Dimock Residents & Then Backs Off

updated at 7:40 pm: AP reports EPA cancels water delivery here. they are "filling information gaps" says an EPA spokesperson...

updated at 12:14pm: Carter Road residents received phone calls from the EPA emergency services this morning, notifying them that water deliveries are not going to happen after all. When Craig Sautner asked why, he received no explanation. EPA has not responded to my request for information.

originally posted Saturday morning:
Fresh drinking water is hard to come by for some Dimock residents. Three years ago they lost their water source when drilling by Cabot Oil & Gas caused methane and, possibly, other chemicals to migrate into their home water wells.

But yesterday EPA representatives called the households and promised water will be delivered. One resident who received a phone call from EPA told me that the agency said they've contracted with a water delivery company and a delivery should come within a couple days.

“We are holding our breath waiting for the first drop of water to be delivered!” she said.

These home-owning, tax-paying citizens were left high and dry, without a reliable supply of clean water when Cabot stopped delivering water on November 30. More than a month ago.

Environmental groups and caring people have been donating water, but the deliveries have been sporadic. And with winter coming, the Dimock residents were concerned about a consistent water supply. For those scraping the bottom of the water barrel, EPA’s promise of fresh water is a prayer answered in the nick of time.


  1. Speaking with People from Carter Road on the phone today I can feel their frustration and anger of this turn in decisions. They have been betrayed by their agreement with Cabot Oil & Gas, by the very community they are part of and now have been set up by our federal government for the biggest let-down yet; one day the promise of water the next day the deal was reneged! You betcha they have reason to be livid about their plight. By adding insult to injury time and time again in this lush water laden area of the country, they are without their life's blood. This is dark irony to be left dry in this seemingly cold and heartless predicament. Think about turning off your water main and how you would cope for a few short days, let alone years of being cast aside and ignored by neighbors and government officials. Where has human decency and compassion gone?

    Yesterday an offer to purchase a cooperative water truck was dropped by Carter Road folks thinking that the EPA had come to the rescue and it was no longer needed. EPA officials must be held accountable for it's mistreatment of people victimized by a calloused industry that refuses to take ownership of it's mistakes. Why? - Because they don't want to set a precedence for all the other families they have poisoned and all the future poisonings they will no doubt bestow at future drilling sites. That hurts the profit margin. The DEP and the EPA are complicit and sympathizes with the perpetrators of this crime.

    One would wonder why this set up would happen on a Thursday - Friday timeline when most reporters are off for the weekend. This is a typical delivery time for bad news from our government, hoping short term memory problems will make any outrage disappear by Monday.

    If DEP and Cabot think this water is so safe to drink, let's see them drink it! Now we can add the EPA to the taste testing list. Enough is enough already!

  2. I don't understand why it is EPA's responsibility to provide fresh water to this area. Is it true they signed leases with the gas company and received money for them? Was anyone a victim of compulsory integration? They are in a terrible situation, but I don't think people who lease their property to a corporation should expect the government to bail them out.