2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pennsylvania Environment Department orders water pipeline for residents affected by natural gas contamination

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in Pennsylvania plans to build an $11.8 million water pipeline to supply water to homeowners whose wells were contaminated by drilling operations in the Marcellus Shale.  The pipeline would supply water to 18 residences at a cost of $650,000 per home, and the cost will be charged to the Texas driller Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.  Cabot is calling the decision "unfounded, irrational, and capricious", but the DEP says that the waterline is the only certain remedy for homeowners with contaminated wells. 

In advance of the decision by the DEP, Cabot took out ads in the Susquehanna County region addressed to the "Citizens of Pennsylvania" denying it caused the pollution and saying that it will fight the allegations.  Cabot says it was not responsible for natural gas that migrated into the homeowners' wells.  The residents have sued Cabot and declined to accept having new wells installed on their properties as they no longer trust water coming from the local aquifer. 

The DEP contends that it has collected "overwhelming" evidence that Cabot's gas wells were poorly constructed and were the source of major leaks of gas.