Natural gas companies in PA urged to drill safely

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has called a meeting of natural gas drillers working in the state.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has called a meeting of natural gas drillers working in the state.

    The DEP which will hold the meeting in May says it wants to make sure gas companies drill safely.

    The move is in response to drilling that has contaminated the water supply in Dimock Township in Susquehanna County.

    On New Year’s Day 2009, an explosion occurred on a property in Dimock. Residents complained about being able to set their tap water on fire. According to the Department of Environmental Protection, Cabot Oil and Gas used substandard drilling techniques that led to natural gas migrating into the water supply.

    Department secretary John Hanger says he wants to make sure the companies participating in the state’s natural gas boom drill responsibly.

    Hanger:

    The problem is a serious one because when gas moves, it can reach concentrations in somebody’s property that are somewhat explosive.

    Hanger has ordered Cabot to cap its wells in Dimock and has put a hold on any new permits for the company. Hanger says there could be more actions against the company.

    Company officials could not be reached for comment, but a statement to investors on their website assured them that gas production overall has been greater than expected.

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