No one read a press release from the Environmental Protection Agency stating that drinking water in Dimock, Pennsylvania is safe to drink and not contaminated by hydraulic fracturing because the EPA didn’t issue one. Instead it sent an email to Dimock residents.
-Original Message—– From: Taylor.Trish <Taylor.Trish@epamail.epa.gov>
To: Cc: Polish.David <Polish.David@epamail.epa.gov>
Sent: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 6:34 am
Subject: Follow-up status re: Nov 10, 2011 visit with Dimock PA residents
Dear Dimock Residents,
This email is a follow-up to the visits to Dimock area homes by EPA on November 10, 2011 and the subsequent review of well sampling data for wells impacted by the Cabot Oil and Gas Company drilling activities. EPA has conducted a preliminary review and screening of the data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and residents. While we are continuing our review, to date, the data does not indicate that the well water presents an immediate health threat to users. EPA will continue to review available information related to the concerns of Dimock area residents. We are continuing to work with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania going forward on this issue.
Please feel free to call me or David Polish, Community Involvement Coordinator, at (215) 814-3327, if you have further questions.
Trish Taylor, Community Involvement Coordinator
Hazardous Site Cleanup Division (Mailcode 3HS52)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Region 3 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA., 19103
phone: (215) 814 – 5539 fax: (215) 814 – 3015
Thanks to Heritage Foundation blog The Foundry for making it public:
Federal authorities have ruled that the drinking water in Dimock, Pennsylvania, which some claimed had been contaminated by nearby natural gas drilling efforts, is safe to drink. The statement lends some factual weight to a political debate wrought with emotion and more than the occasional doom-and-gloom proclamation.
Dimock has become a lightning rod in the fight against the natural gas extraction technique hydraulic fracturing. Anti-natural gas activists have used the town in a years-long campaign to prevent the practice, which they insist contaminates drinking water supplies.
But the Environmental Protection Agency says otherwise….
EPA’s findings comport with administrator Lisa Jackson’s previous statements regarding the effects – or lack thereof – of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. Earlier this year, Jackson told a House committee that she was “not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.”
Scott Perry, director of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Oil and Gas Management, echoed that position. “There has never been any evidence of fracking ever causing direct contamination of fresh groundwater in Pennsylvania or anywhere else,” Perry said in April.
This is a stark contrast to how the EPA and the media responded to a “draft finding” regarding ground water in Pavillion, Wyoming.