A November 4th press release from the PA DEP reveals that while “numerous” people in Dimock have been without good water for, oh, a year, give or take, it takes an agreement process with DEP to force Cabot Oil & Gas to address residents’ need for “replacement” water. It takes an agreement process with DEP to force Cabot Oil & Gas to release to DEP a complete list of people who have reported issues with their water.
DEP says this will provide a “long-term solution.” That seems optimistic. How do you “replace” someone’s own clean, clear, safe spring or well water? And, you have to wonder, eventually, after northeastern PA and New York’s Southern Tier are pincushioned with gas wells, where will the “replacement” water come from? And what will we use to schlep it from hither to thither? Oh, yeah, now I remember: diesel fuel made from foreign oil. Yup, that stuff that natural gas was supposed to free us from depending on.
Pennsylvania DEP Reaches Agreement with Cabot to Prevent Gas Migration,
Restore Water Supplies in Dimock Township
Agreement Requires DEP Approval for Well Casing, Cementing
MEADVILLE, Pa., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Department of
Environmental Protection and Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. have executed a consent
order and agreement that will provide a long-term solution for migrating gas
that has affected 13 water supplies in Dimock Township, Susquehanna County.
The affected area covers nine square miles around Carter Road.
The consent order and agreement outlines a process that will give DEP more
oversight of Cabot’s new well construction work in the affected area. Prior to
drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or hydro fracking, the company will submit
well casing and cementing plans to DEP. Once DEP provides written approval,
Cabot may proceed.
“The goal of the consent order and agreement is to ensure a long-term
resolution to issues that have emerged in Dimock,” said DEP Northwest Regional
Director Kelly Burch. “The company will focus on the integrity of the wells in
the affected area in an attempt to determine the source of the migrating gas.”
This past week, Cabot has provided an interim solution for all of the homes
where water supplies have been affected. Cabot must develop a plan by March 31
to restore or replace the affected water supplies permanently.
Under the consent order and agreement, Cabot must additionally submit to DEP:
– Information on all parties who have contacted the company about water
quantity or quality issues; and
– A plan that specifically identifies how the company intends to prove the
integrity of the casing and cementing on existing wells and fix
defective casing and cementing by March 31.
If Cabot fails to fix the defective casing and cementing by the March
deadline, the company must plug defective wells or implement another
alternative as approved by DEP.
In addition, Cabot paid a $120,000 civil penalty for violations of the Oil and
Gas Act, the Solid Waste Management Act and the Clean Streams Law.
The consent order and agreement caps a DEP investigation that began early this
year when numerous Dimock area residents reported evidence of natural gas in
their water supplies. DEP inspectors discovered that the well casings on some
of Cabot’s natural gas wells were cemented improperly or insufficiently,
allowing natural gas to migrate to groundwater.
On Sept. 25, following a series of wastewater spills, DEP ordered Cabot to
cease hydro fracking natural gas wells throughout Susquehanna County. The
prohibition was removed after the company completed a number of important
engineering and safety tasks.
Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. is a Delaware-based company with a mailing address in
For more information on oil and gas wells, visit [email protected],
keyword: Oil and gas.