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Date: 2024-07-18 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00001558

Water, Society and Economy
What are risks and advantages of 'fracking'

Fracking Company Cuts Off Clean Water Shipments to Community They Contaminated


Peter Burgess

Fracking Company Cuts Off Clean Water Shipments to Community They Contaminated

Here’s your daily (hourly?) outrage. The movie Gasland featured the residents of Dimock, PA. It’s one of the first cities filmmaker Josh Fox visits. He is handed a jar of putrid water and asked to have it tested. Predictably, it comes up contaminated with methane. The company that did the fracking in Dimock, Cabot Oil & Gas, was required to supply potable water to residents in the town of 1,400 permanently.

But Cabot turned permanently into you’re on your own:

Families in a northeastern Pennsylvania village with tainted water wells will have to procure their own water for the first time in nearly three years as a natural-gas driller blamed for polluting the aquifer moves ahead with its plan to stop paying for daily deliveries.

Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. ended delivery of bulk and bottled water to 11 families in Dimock on Wednesday. Cabot asserts Dimock’s water is safe to drink and won permission from state environmental regulators last month to stop paying for water for the residents.

A judge on Wednesday declined to issue an emergency order compelling Cabot to continue the deliveries. The judge, who sits on the state’s Environmental Hearing Board, set a Dec. 7 deadline for arguments on a second, related petition filed by lawyers for the families.

The decision left residents who don’t think their water is safe scrambling to find alternate sources.

This is outrageous. I know enough from watching Gasland that the state environmental authority has a threadbare budget, and with the institution of a new conservative government there, less of an interest in the well-being of citizens compared to the well-being of corporate clients. I don’t know how you can go by Cabot’s water testing and self-pronouncement of safety.

Instead of getting water through Cabot, residents would have to pay up to $100 a day to keep the shipments. The families simply don’t trust Cabot’s claims that the treatment systems they installed provide safe water. Residents are turning to a type of community organizing:

Craig Stevens, who lives near Dimock and is an outspoken critic of the gas industry, put out a call for volunteers with tanker trucks to deliver bulk water to the residents. He said his goal is to get at least 20 volunteers to commit to one day a month each. Working with Stevens, Pennsylvania-American Water Co. said it will set up an access point at Lake Montrose, a municipal water supply several miles from Dimock.

The state, Stevens said, has “turned its back on the people of Dimock.”

New Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is a big fracking fan. Scratch an itch and I’m sure you’ll find him behind this.

12 Responses to “Fracking Company Cuts Off Clean Water Shipments to Community They Contaminated”
littledog December 2nd, 2011 at 3:43 pm 1 Just another of the atrocities that we face in this country. Until we demand that our gov and corporate cronies open the books on the new technology’s we have,and stop trying to make several more fortunes,it will be the destructive forces trying to get the last bit of blood out of a rock.The solar,wind and hydro power technology will never be allowed to be mainstream in this country. Many other countries are well ahead of us on making these affordable.and much has yet to be discovered and improved upon, including longevity. People in this country had better get used of higher prices,lower quality and planned shortages. That along the scarcity of truth and freedoms is our outlook at the future of America Login to Reply
tejanarusa December 2nd, 2011 at 6:23 pm 2 Permanently. Yet another word that doesn’t mean what we thought it meant. Sigh. Login to Reply
cathy December 3rd, 2011 at 7:59 am 3 Can’t the residents test their water and to prove it is still contaminated? Also, too, the residents voted for this conservative, business backing government. I guess some people never learn. Login to Reply
mswinkle December 3rd, 2011 at 8:03 am 4 and gov cuomo is also a fracking fan. I think the residents should do the following. Call in all the media and announce they will go on a water strike rather than drink contaminated water. I think they should demand all politicians etc that are for this BS should come to their town and drink copious amounts of the water and have it filmed for tv. I know not drinking water is extreme, but we are way beyond the point of getting these guys to do the right thing. Login to Reply
pajarito December 3rd, 2011 at 8:15 am 5 Safe Drinking Water Act (Fed. law) applies to the public water treatment facility for the community set up by Cabot. Law requires they test the treated water for many components (though not methane). Failing to test, or falsifying tests, is punishable by jail and fines. US EPA often delegate enforcement to the state (weak), but can be called in if state doesn’t do its job. The Citizens should run Cabot out of town. Wonder how many sweatheart concessions were given by state to Cabot, tax breaks, etc…? Common citizens have no government representing them in this country. Login to Reply
TalkingStick December 3rd, 2011 at 8:15 am 6 This is a huge issue and genuine hazard to our democracy (not to metion the planet). These people are playing hardball. Please see investigative report by Facing South by Sue Sturgis Snippets: But just as opponents of fracking are making political gains, the gas industry is turning to harsh tactics for dealing with them — including the admitted use of counterinsurgency strategies and psychological operations borrowed from the U.S. military. ‘We’re Dealing With an Insurgency Here’ I think we have to get out ahead of all these issues. Everybody knows this. We’ve talked a lot about it. One thing that we’ve worked a lot on at Range is just getting more proactive in the community. It’s not something that we’ve done before. In other parts of the nation it makes no sense for us to do that. In other parts, in Pennsylvania for instance, we have several — I think Matt raised the issue of looking to other industries, in this case the Army and Marines. We have several former psy ops folks that work for us at Range because they’re very comfortable in dealing with localized issues and local governments. Really all they do is spend most of their time helping folks develop local ordinances and things like that, but very much having that understanding of psy ops in the Army, and in the Middle East, does apply very helpfully here for us in Pennsylvania. One more tidbit. Remember the largest earthquake Oklahoma has ever experienced a few weeks back? The media failed to mention that it was one of literally thousands that have been occurring since they began fracking just across the river from the Arkansas fracking which sits on the New Madrid fault line– source of the world’s largest earthquake. Now all they have to do is put a few Nuclear plants nearby (to keep the ones in Missouri company. Login to Reply
myshadow December 3rd, 2011 at 8:16 am 7 We have gone from ‘don’t look back’ to don’t look. Long ago. Soon. Can’t see. Login to Reply
PJEvans December 3rd, 2011 at 8:31 am 8 In response to TalkingStick @ 6 Remember the largest earthquake Oklahoma has ever experienced a few weeks back? The media failed to mention that it was one of literally thousands that have been occurring since they began fracking just across the river from the Arkansas fracking which sits on the New Madrid fault line– source of the world’s largest earthquake. The one in Oklahoma was more than 50 miles from the state line (being well west of Tulsa). They’ve had earthquakes in the area forever, just not as large in the recent past. You are jumping to conclusions. (Also, nowhere where they’ve had quakes due to fluid injection have the quakes been anywhere near that large.) Login to Reply
Coach Bill December 3rd, 2011 at 8:32 am 9 Even without contaminating known sources of fresh water, the battles over water in the coming years will make the oil wars look like child’s play. There actually are alternatives fossil fuels but there are no alternatives to clean, fresh water. The time will come, and its not as far away as you think, when your water bill will be bigger than your fuel bill. Additionally, municipalities have been privatizing water purification and distribution at an alarming rate. Login to Reply
eCAHNomics December 3rd, 2011 at 8:35 am 10 Let them eat cake drink champagne. Login to Reply
TalkingStick December 3rd, 2011 at 8:38 am 11 In response to PJEvans @ 8 Check the Oklahoma news sources and the Geological survey. There has, as in Arkansas, been a large upsurge in numbers of earthquakes in the region (which indeed is not on New Madrid but a smaller active zone.) I lived in Oklahoma near that region for some 25 years. I can recall two quakes we could feel. Friends in Tulsa (some distance from the recent one) are experiencing them now so often they are taken for granted. It’s not that I see that as the major potential problem with what they are doing currently (I don’t) it is the media being systematically gagged in their reporting. Login to Reply
AitchD December 3rd, 2011 at 9:54 am 12 The potable water requirements for Dimock, PA were instituted during a Democratic administration and legislature. The regulations were removed during a Republican administration and Republican majority legislature. The modern Democrats are the former traditional Republicans (Scranton, Schweiker, Heinz). The modern Republicans are criminals who drink swine blood.
By: David Dayen
Friday December 2, 2011 1:35 pm
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