Saturday brought a surprise reversal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which halted without explanation a shipment of water en route to the Northeast Pennsylvania town of Dimock, Ground Zero of the national debate over the impact of natural gas extraction on drinking water supplies.
Just 24 hours after promising them water, EPA officials informed Dimock residents that a tanker truck wouldn’t be coming after all, according to the Associated Press. The about-face left residents furious, confused and let down , and, once again, scrambling for water for bathing, washing dishes and flushing toilets.
In an email to the AP, EPA spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara wrote “We are actively filling information gaps and determining next steps in Dimock. We have made no decision at this time to provide water,” but did not explain why they reneged on their promise, or say whether water would be delivered at some point.
As this story develops, follow StateImpact Pennsylvania, WHYY’s collaboration with WITF and NPR. Reporters Scott Detrow and Susan Phillips are covering the fiscal and environmental impact of Pennsylvania’s booming energy economy, with a focus on Marcellus Shale drilling.