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Monday, July 29, 2013

Activists Look to Revive the Dimock Storyline Yet Again

From DeSmogBlog:
Though EPA said Dimock's water wasn't contaminated by fracking in a 2012 election year desk statement, internal documents obtained by LA Times reporter Neela Banerjee show regional EPA staff members saying the exact opposite among friends. 
"In an internal EPA PowerPoint presentation...staff members warned their superiors that several wells had been contaminated with methane and substances such as manganese and arsenic, most likely because of local natural gas production," writes Banerjee.
"The presentation, based on data collected over 4 1/2 years at 11 wells around Dimock, concluded that 'methane and other gases released during drilling (including air from the drilling) apparently cause significant damage to the water quality.' The presentation also concluded that 'methane is at significantly higher concentrations in the aquifers after gas drilling and perhaps as a result of fracking [hydraulic fracturing] and other gas well work," Banerjee further explained.
You can read more from that article here.

The EPA did respond to questions about these internal documents.  According to that LA Times article:
The EPA confirmed the authenticity of the presentation about the Dimock wells but said it was the work of one employee. 
"This presentation represents one [on-scene coordinator's] thoughts regarding 12 samples and was not shared with the public because it was a preliminary evaluation that requires additional assessment in order to ascertain its quality and validity," said EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson. 
"The sampling and an evaluation of the particular circumstances at each home did not indicate levels of contaminants that would give EPA reason to take further action," Johnson said. "Throughout EPA's work in Dimock, the agency used the best available scientific data to provide clarity to Dimock residents and address their concerns about the safety of their drinking water."
You can read that whole article here.

The anti-drilling Natural Resources Defense Council responded with an article too, which you can read here. 

So, what do you think.  Is this another point of proof in the intricate web that Josh Fox and the rest of the fracktivists are warning people about, wherein the EPA is ignoring imminent fatal danger to millions and millions of people because Obama wants natural gas to be used as a bridge fuel?  Or is it really, as the agency itself says, one person's preliminary evaluation which didn't stand up under increased scrutiny of the litany of research and study that was done in regards to Dimock's water?

UPDATE:  Energy in Depth has responded to this latest round of Dimock reporting now as well.

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