A fresh water delivery was supposed to take place on Saturday in Dimock, PA but the EPA had a change of heart. Residents in Dimock have been unable to use their water supplies because the wells were found to be tainted by a natural gas drilling operation. Hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, tainted several clean water wells in the area.
The EPA had originally ordered Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation to supply weekly deliveries of drinking water to the residents affected by contaminated water. In November of 2011, Cabot decided to stop weekly deliveries of clean water to residents of Dimock after striking up a new deal with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Celebrities caught wind of the situation in Dimock and attempted to do something about it. In early December, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Fox, and quite a few other clean water activist organizations brought clean water to the citizens of Dimock so they would be able to wash dishes, shower, and have clean water to drink.
On Friday January 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promised Dimock residents clean water. 24 hours after making the promise, EPA officials informed residents that a tanker truck wouldn’t be coming, according to the Huffington Post.
Residents were left hanging. The EPA had reneged on its promise. That left Dimock residents, once again, without clean water. Residents were not only furious but confused and let down by the move, according to HuffPo. It is unclear why the delivery of clean water was canceled. No one from the EPA is willing to say why they had a change of heart. Craig Sautner, a resident of Dimock, said of the situation, “You can’t be playing with people’s lives like this.”
The Associated Press reports that EPA spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara said in an email, “We are actively filling information gaps and determining next steps in Dimock. We have made no decision at this time to provide water.” Then who will? And who should?
So much for the EPA being the Environmental Protection Agency. It is shocking that the EPA would just expect citizens to deal with a contaminated water supply that was contaminated from something the residents were against. But big oil and gas seems to be winning this round with Dimock.
Cabot was banned from drilling in 2010 after 18 residential wells were found polluted. And even though the company was at fault and Dimock residents are still without clean water –the company isn’t on the hook to make it right. Residents of the northeastern Pennsylvania town are still scrambling for clean water.