Breaking: U.S. EPA Declares Dimock Water Has No Health Impacts

For those who follow our blog, this news will come as no surprise — but is extremely newsworthy nonetheless.  I was just forwarded an email from some our friends in Dimock that was just sent to them by EPA Region 3 staffer Trish Taylor — indicating that EPA’s review has found it does not pose a threat to human health.  One can reasonably assess this means it meets Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standards which would align with earlier findings from Cabot Oil and Gas and Pennsylvania DEP.  Someone may want to pass this along to Binghamton mayor Matt Ryan before he goes and spends his taxpayers money to fix a problem in another state that does not exist.

Dear Dimock Residents,

This email is a follow-up to the visits to Dimock area homes by EPA on November 10, 2011 and the subsequent review of well sampling data for wells impacted by the Cabot Oil and Gas Company drilling activities.   EPA has conducted a preliminary review and screening of the data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and residents.  While we are continuing our review, to date, the data does not indicate that the well water presents an immediate health threat to users.   EPA will continue to review available information related to the concerns of Dimock area residents.  We are continuing to work with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania going forward on this issue.

Please feel free to call me or David Polish, Community Involvement Coordinator, at (215) 814-3327, if you have further questions.

Sincerely,

Trish Taylor, Community Involvement Coordinator

Hazardous Site Cleanup Division (Mailcode 3HS52)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3

1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA., 19103

phone: (215) 814 – 5539

fax: (215) 814 – 3015

Comments

  1. unreceivedogma says:

    What the EPA letter says is that the EPA is reviewing data supplied by PADEP and by NBR’s testing firm, data of which is incomplete. There aren’t even MCLs for some of these contaminants that are not in the data, which are carcinogens. It says no IMMEDIATE harm, but nothing about long term exposure.

    It does not say that EPA did their own testing.

  2. unreceivedogma says:

    As for Binghamton’s taxpayer dollars, my understanding is that the money is coming from private volunteer sources. No taxpayer dollars are supposed to be involved.

    • Tom says:

      Are they paying for the Mayor’s time? And, since when does hearsay (“I understand”) count?

  3. Marie Vath says:

    Did the EPA test the wells? If so has the data been released to the public? What did they test for if they did their own testing? Are they relying only on the DEP data? The letter is not too clear on this. I think I will contact the EPA and ask the questions. I will report the answers. I don’t think I would like to drink my water if I lived in these homes, would you? Some of the families have small children.

    • Tom says:

      You can find the answers on Cabot’s website and any number of other places. It’s all publicly available but the Sautners and their film and media friends (who are using them as props) try to deflect attention from the facts so as to be able to maintain the pretense that their water is unusable or that any amount of contaminants found in virtually all public water supplies is somehow unacceptable. Their water meets the standards. There’s nothing else to say.

      • mark says:

        well said tom, the EPA sampled for 40+ different analyts in nov. and the water meets the acceptable drinking water standards the results should be released in the near future, also a valid point by mr salsman, currently EPA is sampling 60 more homes in dimock which will also show the water is acceptable to drink, but we probably won’t have multiple news confrences or podium rallies showing these facts.

    • Loren Salsman says:

      This was a review of existing data only. But to answer your question, the EPA was at two Dimock residents in the beginning of Nov. as part of the hydrofracking study. As far as I know, there were only two of us from Dimock that participated in the hydrofracking study where the EPA actually collected samples. No one in the lawsuit allowed the EPA to sample. What does that tell you about their true concerns ?

  4. Marie Vath says:

    Here are some questions I will ask the EPA:

    How does the water compare to legal limits for public water supplies?

    Would a restaurant in the area be allowed to serve water of the same quality?

    Are there any chemicals in the water that are known carcinogens at the levels in which they are found?

    What standards does the EPA use to evaluate private water supplies?

    Does the data indicate that the water may present a mid- or long-term threat to users?

    What chemicals was the water tested for?

    At what usage level, or at what health or age might the water present a threat? That is, is the water an issue for the elderly, immune compromised, or young?

    After what duration should an individual stop drinking this water?

    How much of this water is acceptable to drink each day?

    Is it safe to shower and inhale the water vapor from this water?

    • Tom says:

      Those answers have been known for some time. See our responses to the above comments. Unfortunately, you find the answers unacceptable because they don’t fit your template but that isn’t our problem, Cabot’s problem, DEP’s problem or EPA’s problem. It is your problem because you have an agenda and philosophy on this issue that doesn’t fit the facts.

      • mark says:

        tom, two thumbs way up, could not be stated any better!

  5. Victor Furman says:

    The Saunter’s have, perhaps inadvertently, projected an image of greedy landowners…. they could not, however, gotten as far as they did in perpetuating their unsubstantiated claims, had it not been for anti drill organizations “USING THEM” as pawns to push there agenda… When it is all done and over the press will be gone, the anti’s will disappear and the Sautners will be outcasts in their own community because of organizations and individuals such as Josh Fox and yourselves who have used them for the sole purpose of pushing YOUR agenda further….MADE THEM. I hope that the next collection taken up for them isn’t for clean water they don’t need that, but to subsidize them in an effort to relocate out of a town that now looks upon them as the same way I do, as many do….Pawns in a political gameof which there are only losers as long as it’s played

    Greg and Julie… I don’t hate you… I hate what NYRAD and other organizations like them have done to you. Someday you will remember this letter and see them for what they did do and will then understand me. I don’t hate the people I hate the lies and the truth will hit the liars like a speeding train hit’s the deer in the spotlite. Splat – It’s over

  6. comeanddrinkit says:

    Dimock Water Situation Explained TATE J. KUNKLE
    >Associate – New York Office
    >[email protected]
    >December 2,
    2011

    >Ms. Trish Taylor, Community
    Involvement Coordinator
    >Hazardous Site Cleanup Division
    >U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3
    >1650 Arch Street
    >Philadelphia,
    PA 19103
    >Re: Carter Road Residents, Dimock Township, PA
    >
    >Dear Ms.
    Taylor:
    >We are in possession of an extremely disconcerting email sent to
    the Dimock residents this morning, many of whom we represent. The email
    advises that a preliminary review of the PADEP data indicates that the
    contaminants in the groundwater do not present an immediate health threat to
    those who use it for household purposes. Presumably, this is based on
    comparisons with the maximum contaminant level (“MCL”) of some constituents
    present in the water. We strongly disagree that the well water does not
    present an immediate health threat to the Dimock residents and hope this
    letter aids the United State Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) as it
    continues its review.
    >First, be advised that a major aspect to the
    determination by Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and the Pennsylvania Department of
    Environmental Protection’s (“PADEP”) that Dimock homeowners’ water is safe to
    drink derives from sampling they provided to a laboratory they also retained
    to analyze two (2) sample sets for certain parameters, including metals.
    However, the results from that laboratory, Test America, are at best
    misleading and inapposite to the issue of groundwater safety given the
    instructions by Cabot to exclude most contaminants from analysis.
    Indeed, many
    of the samples were analyzed after being filtered through a 0.45 micron
    filter. As you are probably aware, this filter size is capable of removing
    very fine to colloidal sized particles. This filtration procedure was
    doubtlessly done by the laboratory at the request of Cabot to artificially
    lower the contamination concentrations and detection. By filtering the water
    samples, much of the total metals concentrations were removed, leaving behind
    what the lab sheets refer to as “dissolved” concentrations, which fall below
    MCL levels. Even after filtering some concentrations still exceed
    the MCLs and
    were not taken into account when the USEPA advised the water would
    not pose an
    immediate health threat.
    >As an example, here is the following recent Cabot
    data that you are in possession of:
    >Iron Iron Iron Mn Mn Mn
    >Unfiltered
    Filtered SMCL Unfiltered Filtered SMCL
    >Location (ug/l) (ug/l) (ug/l) (ug/l)
    (ug/l) (ug/l)
    >S-1 Sautner 5000 FH-1 110 7.4 300
    95 3.4 50
    >R-1 Roos 1600 R-2 Roos 1400 14 300 74 67
    50
    >TC-1 1100 27 300 190 200 50
    >Note that even after filtration, wells
    R-1, R-2, and TC-1 still failed to meet SMCL standards for Mn. In addition,
    the Sautner well water, unfiltered, detected 10 ug/l of lead. The federal MCL
    for lead is zero (0) micrograms per liter; in Pennsylvania the MCL
    for lead is
    5 ug/l. Prior to filtering, the Sautner well’s iron level exceeded the MCL
    standards by 16.7 times on September 1, 2011. Note that the Sautner residence
    had no sediment filters prior to Cabot conducting its natural gas extraction
    operations.
    >The data supplied by Cabot and presumably reviewed by the USEPA
    also shows violations relative to pH for sample locations D-1, H-1,
    and KDE-1.
    This is also true of the Scott Ely well, where numerous pH values have been
    recorded in excess of pH 9 by the PADEP indicating that something is very
    wrong with the groundwater in Dimock, PA. This is further bolstered by the
    color of Scott Ely’s groundwater that far exceeds the SMCL for color of 15
    color units. Preliminary lab data from a November 22, 2011 sampling of Scott
    Ely’s well also indicates the presence of low level hexanes, octanes, and
    decanes. This data will be forward to the USEPA shortly.
    >Additional recent
    sampling with results exceeding the MCL includes:
    >Pb Pb MCL Mn Mn MCL
    Arsenic Arsenic MCL
    >Location (mg/l) (mg/l) (mg/l) (mg/l) (mg/l)
    (mg/l)
    >Carter 0.025 0.005 0.13 0.05 ——- 0.01
    >S. Ely 0.029 0.005 0.50
    0.05 0.015 0.01
    >As you are well aware, MCLs for groundwater/drinking water
    are meant to be applied to the water as it is being used by homeowners. Thus,
    if a homeowner did not filter their water, the MCLs should be applied to
    exactly what the homeowner used as their potable water supply. If a homeowner
    had some kind of filter in use prior to gas drilling activities, then the
    standards should apply to that water after the same filtration. No Dimock
    residents whom we represent who may have filtered their water prior to gas
    drilling activities did so with a 0.45 micron filter. Such a small
    filter size
    would probably readily clog. In the case of Scott Ely’s now- turbid water, it
    is not conceivable that any particulate filter could filter out sediment and
    not clog the system in very short order. Thus, MCLs applied in Dimock should
    not be relative to finely filtered water. Instead, MCLs should be applied to
    homeowners’ water as it formerly came directly from their wells, to
    their taps
    and ready for ingestion.
    >EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, 350 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK,
    NEW YORK 10118 | (212) 267-3700
    >Chronic, low-level, exposure to fracking
    chemicals is too great a medical risk to assume. Our clients are not lab rats
    in an experiment. As you are aware, the following chemicals have
    been recently
    detected in the Dimock/Carter Road Area raw water: naphthalene, phenanthrene,
    butyl benzyl phthalate, 1-methylnapthalene, 2-methylnapthalene, ethylene
    glycol, diethylene glycol, triethylene glycol, 2-methoxyethanol, methylene
    blue active substances, gas range organics, acetone and ammonia (distilled).
    Although not presently regulated by the Environmental Protection
    Agency or the
    Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and thus no MCLs exists,
    these chemicals are not safe for ingestion, in either the short or long
    term.
    >Contrary to the statement this morning, we do not feel it is wise for
    homeowners to potentially expose themselves to untested chemicals, even if a
    few that have been tested for appear to temporarily pass MCL standards. In
    light of the data and our analysis we request you retract the statement that
    the water is safe for consumption until a thorough review can be
    conducted and
    order that water deliveries be continued until such time as a water line is
    installed from a safe, potable source.
    >We appreciate the USEPA’s assistance
    in this matter and hope the continued review supports a cautious approach
    bearing in mind that its recommendation may ultimately result in the
    long-term
    ingestion of this contamination by the Carter Road residents. Should you have
    any questions or wish to discuss this issue further, please feel free to
    contact me at (212) 267-3700.
    >Very truly yours,
    >Tate J. Kunkle,
    Esq.
    >
    >

    • Tom says:

      There is a whole lot of spinning go on here! Notice how he relies upon SECONDARY MCL’s, list contaminants without saying id they exceed any standards and resorts to saying he doesn’t “feel” the water is safe. This is a rebuttal? You can’t be serious! I’m glad, however, he admits the Sautner well is loaded with iron, which is a likely explanation for the color when it is only infrequently used and has nothing to do with natural gas development.

      • hydratwo says:

        You don’t filter residential drinking water samples and compare them to any risk levels. It takes out the organics and reduces the metals.

  7. Judge I ask you !!!! says:

    Judge I ask you:
    To award me a settlement of wage before any awards or decisions are made at the finalizations of these procedures. My Law office has worked with due diligence to cloud the issue with everything but a scientific footprint that as an exact” would relate mitigating and un rebutted laboratory analysis here width and forth coming to discredit the defendants claim and liability recluse. In my letter above to Tom, I have used scientific terms found on web sites across the world wide web, that talk about acidity levels and waters PH balance, and even normal TOC’s found in every well across the country, “revelatory to no case” but look damning to the average High school pole climber trying to mitigate at the expense of the defendant” A lump sum of cash for a pre existing problem ! It is with the highest hope that I approach this courts compassion to one of it’s own, “Myself” also a pawn in the hallway of civil paning of gas gold. Understand that the truth will not and shall not be ever known as it is possible, in fact probable this families water was unfit for consumption prior to drilling NG. Again I appeal that if you find against my clients you at least force Cabot Oil & Gas to pay me for wasting the courts time and my time, after all we in the law feild must make sure our bretheren get paid even as we screw up and take on frivilous claims

    Attorney For The Litigant

    Amblence C Chazer

Trackbacks

  1. […] into Pennsylvania?  Has he received a request for Mutual Aid by Dimock Township? Does he know the EPA just found Dimock’s water to be safe?  Your guess is good as mine but knowing Mayor Matt Ryan […]

  2. […] into Pennsylvania?  Has he received a request for Mutual Aid by Dimock Township? Does he know the EPA just found Dimock’s water to be safe?  Your guess is good as mine but knowing Mayor Matt Ryan […]

  3. […]  They have watched and listened as media sycophants have used the power of the press to perpetuate the myth that Dimock water is polluted.  They have tolerated the incessant meddling of others in the affairs of their community.  Last […]

  4. […]  They have watched and listened as professional activists use the power of the press to perpetuate the myth that Dimock water is polluted.  They have tolerated the incessant meddling of others in the affairs of their community.  Last […]

  5. […] facts of the matter is the water in Dimock meets all EPA standards and several wells have been continually tested.  You wouldn’t know it from the press, but families on Carter road are drinking their well […]

  6. […] the past few weeks much has happened in the small town of Dimock, PA.  Shortly after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared that Dimock water does not pose a threat to human heal…, a rally was organized by a handful of families and a cadre of special interests and Hollywood […]

  7. […] litigants in Dimock .Its initial was a review of  water testing data which prompted it to declare the data did not indicate the litigants water represented a threat to human health.  Predictably, there was backlash from this truth telling.  Environmental charlatans such as Josh […]

  8. […] Dec. 2, 2011, EPA declared that it was, sending an email to several Dimock residents indicating that the data it had reviewed from state-certified […]

  9. […] talking about?  Well, those of you who have been following this case will recall that after  EPA first suggested Dimock water was safe to use, it then announced it would conduct further water tests because additional review of Cabot and DEP […]

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