In an about-face, officials from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) returned to Dimock, PA for another look at water wells contaminated three years ago by Cabot Oil and Gas activities. They are reopening their review of town water supplies after recent tests revealed issues that they say “merit further investigation”.
This is a 180-degree turn for EPA. At the beginning of the month they sent a letter to residents stating that the information they had gathered “does not indicate that the well water presents an immediate health threat to users.”
But now, they say, critical data gaps have emerged in water sampling and test results. They are also concerned that residents have alternative sources of fresh water.
Tests from the drinking water wells taken in early fall showed elevated levels of metals, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, glycols, surfactants, and 2-methoxyethanol. So now EPA wants to investigate further – an action that the industry group Energy in Depth has criticized as “overstepping [the EPA’s] regulatory authority.”
You can read more about this in prize-winning journalist Laura Legere's article here.