Pa. DEP official not surprised by pollution lawsuit

    DEP officials say natural gas drilling contaminated thirteen wells in Dimock Township over the past year.

    Pennslvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger says he’s “not surprised” 15 Susquehanna County residents are suing Cabot Oil and Gas for contaminating their drinking water.

    DEP officials say Cabot’s natural gas drilling contaminated thirteen wells in Dimock Township over the past year.

    Several residents have filed a federal lawsuit against the company in an attempt to stop future extractions.

    Hanger wouldn’t comment whether or not he supports the legal effort, but said he’s “not surprised,” noting DEP has taken a number of actions against the company.

    Hanger: One was to literally tell them they couldn’t frak for a period of time, and they had to come to the department with a plan to ensure their future operations would be in compliance. We’ve also issued two different fines.

    Cabot is one of several companies drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation.

    Officials first became aware of the leaks and contamination on January 1, when a gas leak caused a well to explode in one Dimock resident’s yard.

    Both Hanger and Governor Rendell say they’re satisfied with DEP’s inspection and oversight efforts.

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