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January 20, 2012

Just Ask the Families in Dimock

Press conference at Sautners', Dimock, Dec. 6, 2011 108

(Above) Sierra Club President Robin Mann spoke at a press conference in Dimock where the Sierra Club urged the EPA to take a closer look at the water.

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced their plans to perform water sampling for approximately 60 homes in Dimock, PA.  They also announced their intention to begin providing clean water to four families whose water became contaminated by Cabot Corp after they fracked for natural gas in Dimock.

The nightmare started for families in Dimock, PA in 2008 when Cabot Corp came to town with the promise of profits and a better life from the natural gas that lay under the ground.  Almost immediately after they began to frack wells, families saw a severe difference in their water quality.  Since then, eleven families in Dimock continued to share their water horror story with state and federal regulators but no one seemed to believe them.

Finally, after four years of worrying where the next bottle of clean water will come from, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that their water is not safe to drink and they will be providing water.  The Sierra Club cannot thank the EPA enough for their decision to help these families and continue to learn more about what Cabot Corp did to the water in Dimock.

The industry likes to claim that each state does a great job regulating drilling activity and they do not need additional scrutiny.  However, this story out of Dimock shows the need for an agency like the EPA to step in because a state agency could not or would not correct a problem caused by fracking.

Fracking is dangerous business and needs safeguards in place at the federal level.  Anyone who thinks states do a good job monitoring fracking needs to visit Dimock, PA and ask the families who became victims of Cabot Corp 4 years ago.  The Sierra Club will continue to help these families and work with the EPA to ensure a permanent clean water solution as soon as possible.

- Deb Nardone, Director of Sierra Club’s Natural Gas Reform Campaign

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