|Water Delivery on Carter Rd, Dimock. photo by Tom Frost|
On Friday, January 20 the US Environmental Protection Agency showed up at the Sautner residence on Carter Road in Dimock, PA for a press conference and to deliver water. Yup, the federal agency has determined that there are 4 homes, including the Sautner’s that need replacement drinking water immediately. The reason: results from water tests raised health concerns, says EPA.
Not only are they supplying water to these four families who have been left by their state government without water since the end of November, but EPA will begin testing water supplies for 61 homes in Dimock this Monday and Tuesday.
Lots of people showed up on Friday to celebrate the water – and the raised awareness that EPA’s actions will bring to the potential for shale gas drilling to contaminate drinking water. Just last year EPA found that hydrofracking was responsible for contaminating drinking water in Pavillion, WY.
Craig Sautner thanked the EPA, but noted that water shipments is a temporary fix. The ultimate goal is to get a permanent water pipe to bring fresh water to the homeowners who can’t drill new wells in a contaminated aquifer.
Victoria Switzer, whose well has also been contaminated, criticized the PA Department of Environmental Protection for failing the citizens who lost their water due to faulty casings – for which DEP fined Cabot Oil & Gas. “I hope EPA is here to protect us,” she said, noting that she is not one of the four that EPA will be delivering to.
Filmmaker Josh Fox was also on hand. “This represents a monumental failure of Governor Corbett and the DEP,” he said, warning that similar cases of water contamination are unfolding across the state.
You can watch the press conference here.
EPA’s documents relating to Dimock are here