Frack Drilling Company to pay 4.1 million to Dimock PA for contaminating their water.

A major victory. For all the people who say that drilling doesn’t harm the water. What say you now?

Cabot Oil (of Dimock PA water contamination infamy), has agreed to pay the townspeople 4.1 million for the contamination of their water.

Whether by gas, or by chemicals, hydraulic fracturing DID contaminate the water of Dimock PA. But that can’t happen here, right? RIGHT?

Does no-one have any common sense today? The problem is not Cabot oil. The problem is: the hydraulic fracture process is inherently flawed. One cannot inject millions of gallons of contaminated water into the earth below the water table under immense pressure, to release the gas and then expect the water to not get contaminated!

Make no mistake about it. with over 30,000 wells stated for drilling in Marcellus shale, and the entire state of WV lying over the shale bed YOUR WATER IS NOT SAFE! The time to fight is now. Before they have ruined our water, destroyed our property values, and wrecked our roads and our scenic landscape.

Join the fight! It’s free, and your water is priceless.

See the Press Release from the State of PA:

Random Posts

. . .

13 thoughts on “Frack Drilling Company to pay 4.1 million to Dimock PA for contaminating their water.

  1. Jeff Pritt

    The article you are citing indicates that the water wells in Dimock, Pennsylvania, were contaminated by migrating natural gas. They were not contaminated by hydraulic fracturing chemicals, nor is there any link to the hydraulic fracturing process implicated whatsoever. The previous articles regarding the contamination in that area of Pennsylvania indicated that it was due to a poor cementing job which allowed natural gas to escape into the water aquifer. Natural gas bubbles out of water when it is exposed to air. Any natural gas in the water serving the 19 homes at issue in this case can be easily and safely removed by a mitigation system, which is what part of the settlement provides.

    The article does not state that the hydraulic fracturing process is inherently flawed as you claim. I fail to see how you can reach that conclusion when this particular matter had absolutely nothing to do with hydraulic fracturing. I sincerely hope you will make an effort to take more care in the future to accurately summarize events which are of interest to all concerned parties as opposed to resorting to hyperbole in an effort to frighten people.

  2. Timothy

    Fact: The water wells were not contaminated prior to the hydraulic fracture drilling.

    Fact: After the hydraulic fracturing, the wells were contaminated.

    If it were my water well, I wouldn’t be focused on whether it were contaminated by gas, or by chemicals.

    Contaminated water is contaminated water.
    That is not hyperbole.

  3. myles

    It is unclear to me Jeff, how someone as educated and intelligent as you are, and someone who is from this county, has roots here, and claims to have sincere protective feelings about your family land – how is it you are not getting this!

    The DEP in PA has negotiated a settlement between Cabot Oil and Gas Co. and the residents from Dimock who have had their water supplies contaminated. Cabot was forced to pay four million dollars. The case is conclusive. The drilling company, in the course of its operations attempting to extract natural gas from shale have contaminated water supplies. There is now PROOF on the books. It can, and DOES happen.

    That it happened due to inherent flaws in the process, or a cement failure, or a containment pond leak, or a tipped over truck, or a well explosion, or etc and etc – is IRRELEVANT.

    Before : water clean.

    After : water contaminated.

  4. laurine yates

    The gas companies have been saying these kinds of things, that somehow they contend the polluted water that the family cannot drink is not thier fault. Their water had been perfect for years and generations and then it got polluted and undrinkable after the fracking started….. Well, proof enough for any reasonable person and proof enough for the governor of the state of New York to put a BAN on drilling in order to protect their water. And proof enough for the city of Pittsburg to put a BAN on drilling in the city in order to protect their water. And now there are law suits against the companies and they are paying millions of dollars in PA because the water was polluted and undrinkable in Bradford County and Dimmock and other places too. What does a reasonable person need as proof?? And someone is saying there is some “hyperbole” in this situation?? I think the lawyers that will get rich are the ones who represent the poor people who have leased their land and had their life, their water, the value of the land and their way of life destroyed and have gone to court and sued the gas companies. The citizens will win this battle in the end. Money is NOT everything and as Americans we have a right to clean water.

  5. Jeff Pritt

    I am sorry if I failed to make my earlier post clear enough, but once again, if you will simply do the basic research, you will find that the incident in Dimock has nothing to do with hydraulic fracturing. Natural gas migration from a wellbore into shallow fresh water aquifers is a known possible risk from any gas drilling. It is not a risk specific only to Marcellus shale operations which incorporate hydraulic fracturing.

    For example, here is an article from 1985 (not necessarily an authoritative one) talking about improvements in cement to prevent natural gas migration from wellbores in standard gas wells in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia:

    And, once again, as noted in the earlier Pennsylvania DEP releases, the incident in Dimock involved poor cementing and did not in any way implicate hydraulic fracturing. Please see one of the earlier news releases:

    This is not something new. This is not something that has just suddenly come up with regard to Marcellus Shale wells. However, it is something that is easily avoided by having a proper cementing job performed in the first place, and it appears that it is easily mitigated by plugging the wells (which Cabot did in this instance) and by the installation of filtration systems at the affected residences. (By the way, natural gas does not make drinking water undrinkable — since it bubbles out of it the risk is not from ingestion, but from the explosive potential if its builds up in too high a concentration. Consequently, the well operator does not want natural gas migration around the wellbore because it can pose a risk of explosion at the wellhead itself.)

    The incident in Dimock absolutely should not have happened, and I am glad Cabot has been forced into a settlement. (However, please note that Cabot did contend in this case that the natural gas was migrating from coal seams in the area and not from its wells. I do not know what evidence they had to back those claims up.)

    Nevertheless, it is completely incorrect to hold up this example as something by which to condemn drilling in the Marcellus Shale using hydraulic fracturing. There is no relation between hydraulic fracturing and the Dimock claims. There is only the general relationship between a faulty cement job which could have affected any variety of gas well and the resulting natural gas migration.

    Also, by the way, as noted here on your site, the New York ban is only a temporary one which expires July 1. (And I can certainly understand a major city like Pittsburgh banning gas drilling within its limits.) However, there is no ban in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Cabot has been allowed to continue drilling there, although I believe it has been required not to drill in the immediate vicinity of the area around Dimock where its three bad wells were located. (Those wells have since been plugged.)

    The bottom line is that out of the thousands of oil and gas wells which are drilled each year, there are always going to be some resulting problems. I am not claiming that oil and gas drilling is risk free. But by and large it appears to me to much less harmful to our environment than many other things we do. And if you choose to have electricity in your home, then you are going to need something to generate that power. So let’s not be hypocritical please. Go live completely off the grid and then I might respect your opinions which, at the moment, simply amount to the standard NIMBY argument.

  6. Timothy

    “Basic research” shows that:
    PRIOR TO to the hydraulic fracture natural gas drilling there were no reports of wells contaminated.

    AFTER the drilling the wells were contaminated.


    I don’t find that unreasonable, or hard to understand.

    By the way, after doing some more “basic research” I found this article. (see link below)
    The article indicates 3 labs confirmed chemicals used in fracking were also found in the water at Dimock.
    It also says that no-one has linked the chemicals to the drilling process.

    To which I say with as much sarcasm as I can muster in the written word…
    Yeah they are probably TOTALLY UNRELATED. Why would it even be considered that the very process that injected those chemicals into the earth, subsequently contaminating the water with natural gas would also at the same time have contaminated the water with the chemicals that were present in the natural gas wells.

    My grandfather’s generation had a saying: If it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck.

    Quoting from the article:
    “Environmental engineer Daniel Farnham said Thursday that his tests, which were verified by three laboratories, found industrial solvents such as toluene and ethylbenzene in “virtually every sample” taken from water wells in Dimock Township, Susquehanna County”

  7. Timothy

    Jeff, I also just wanted to take a pause from the ongoing debate, and say that I appreciate the fact that you use your real name.

    Though I disagree with your argument, and believe that time will unfortunately prove those of us with concerns right, it is nice to know who we are engaging.

  8. RAH

    Fact; Mr. Pritts children and other family members will not be drinking any of the water in question or set to be what is considered at risk.

    We have a “follow the money” mentality in my family, and this gentleman has no apparent connection to the issue. I suspect subsequent investigation would resolve that lack of clarity. Following the money in this case, I believe, will lead directly to Mr. Pritts doorstep. Where he is absolutely certain you may consume the water. He makes certain none of the procedures we are discussing here are used in his area :) He is unclear of any connection to contamination as long as your children are drinking the water in question.

  9. Jeff Pritt

    Timothy: I always hate reading things like unsigned letters to the editor, or anonymous internet posts, so I am more than happy to use my real name. I feel that if one has an opinion on a topic, and they wish to share that opinion with others, then they should at least have the temerity to sign their name to it. I also appreciate you all for setting up this site as the protection of our water resources is important to all of us (although I may disagree as to the level of the threat posed by possible oil and gas drilling). Finally, since I am posting as a citizen-landowner, rather than as a lawyer, I apologize if any of my posts are too emotional or critical, but I do feel that my rights as a landowner are being threatened, and I take that very seriously.

    Now back to our debate:

    As for the additional post above that you added indicating that some chemicals used in fracking were found in well water samples in the Dimock area, I appreciate you noting that the person doing the sampling indicated the results could not be tied to fracking. As that article also noted, the chemicals which were found (Toulene and Ethylbenzene) are very common. They are both found in paint and paint thinners, and toulene is present in gasoline.

    Unfortunately, in many rural communities (such as our own and presumably Dimock as well), family farms often had their own gas and diesel underground storage tanks. Those tanks are no longer in use, and are now slowly disintegrating and leeching fuel residue into the ground. Here in Monroe County we also have the added problem that farm families used the sinkholes on their farms as trash dumps. It’s hard to tell what substances may be entering our water supply from potentially hundreds of trash-filled sinkholes which have accumulated garbage for over 200 years. Many people here also have malfunctioning or non-existent septic systems as well. Consequently, I suspect that a thorough testing of water sources in our county would reveal the same chemicals discovered in Dimock, along with other substances as well.

    Therefore, I cannot agree with your conclusion that just because these substances were found in Dimock this automatically supports the conclusion that fracking was the culprit. This is particularly true since the state agency in charge of the investigation did not reach the same conclusion. Moreover, as I mentioned in one of my prior posts, natural gas migration from poor cementing is a known risk. That is particularly true in that area of Pennsylvania where there are shallow coal seams that are drilled through to get to the gas deposits. Once the coal seams are penetrated they release natural gas which can then flow up along the casing if the cementing job is not done properly. We do not have shallow coal seams here in Monroe County, so this particular threat is not likely to occur in our area.

    Finally, as for the comments by “RAH” above: I really have no idea what you are saying in your poorly worded and grammatically incorrect post. (I also find it to be quite cowardly that you want to make personal comments about me, but do not have the courage to use your real name.)

    First, why do you say that me and my family will not be using this water? Please feel free to drive by my house at Pickaway. You will see a spring house nearby which is our only source of water. Unfortunately, the water is not safe for human consumption (having been tested long before any talk of gas drilling). (By the way, did you know that 50% of Monroe County’s underground drinking water sources are not safe for human consumption?) Therefore, we do purchase water for drinking purposes. However, we use our spring water for all other household purposes including cooking, cleaning, bathing and even toothbrushing. So we are exposed to it on a daily basis, and plan on continuing to use it. Obviously, there is no public water source here, so I am forced to use this water just like everyone else.

    As for the “follow the money” comment, what are you talking about? Perhaps you missed my post indicating I am not employed by any oil and gas company. I have represented Monroe County landowners in their negotiations with the oil and gas company. I also leased my oil and gas rights. You can go to our County Clerk’s office and view my lease which is recorded there. If you do so you will find that I was one of the first to sign up, and that I receive $5/acre/year, which is paid on an annual basis (which equals $25/acre for 5 years). The current rate is ten times that amount or $50/acre/year, which is paid upfront all at once for a five-year period (which equals $250/acre). So while persons who signed on more recently are getting paid upfront in full, I have not even been paid for a full 5 years yet, and my payment is 1/10 what they are receiving. So I can assure you there is no money to follow here. I will only make money if there is a successful producing well drilled on or under my property.

    So in sum, I say to “RAH”, do not try to talk about things of which you are obviously completely ignorant. You really should not make such comments without researching what you are talking about. Since you apparently were not even aware of where I lived, it appears you do not reside in our community. So please get out of this conversation as it apparently has nothing to do with you.

  10. Jenney Jones

    Check into the Buckeye Creek spill in Doddridge County. The WVDEP OIL & GAS Div. did just about everything possible to help minimize a fracturing fluid contamination by Halls drilling and Tapo energy. The town of West Union’s water supply was affected and they weren’t even notified until the Clarksburg newspaper ran an article on the spill. Toluene and Xylene were found in the creek water, from where they get their drinking water, and the O&G dept says it was an “anomaly”???

  11. mTnnonsens

    Все как надо расписали, в некоторых случаях я согласен. Но одно но, – слишком много воды
    хоть и зжато.

  12. John Cunningham

    Please some body get a pen and pad and DO THE MATH, (a calculator is useless) From 2005 to 2009 they used 780,000.000 gallons of chemicals and at 1% thats 78 trillion gallons of hydrofracking concocktion and with approx 1/3 backflow thats 26,000,000,000 gallons, they needed to get rid of and they couldn’t put it through waste water plants because 35,000 gallons in a 50 million gallon a day plant, kills the shit eating bacteria, thus rendering the plant useless, the chemicals and radioative waste flows right through (plus the fecal til the bacteria is restored). So they used it for ice and dust control can JEFF PRITT figure that just maybe a few trillion gallons of contaminated (& radioactive) waste water with over 28 toxic substances that we know of, helped to contaminate some ground water, creeks, streams, rivers and hopefully the water coming out of his faucet, get and use facts not balderdash. thanx JC.

  13. RD Blakeslee

    Some of the discussion above asserts thet water wells were OK prior to drilling for gas and found to be contaminated thereafter, but there is a dearth of data re the state of the water wells prior to drilling for gas. Here is as study that did study before-and-after:

    “In this study, statistical analyses of post-drilling versus pre-drilling water chemistry did not suggest major influences from gas well drilling or hydrofracturing (fracking) on nearby water wells, when considering changes in potential pollutants that are most prominent in drilling waste fluids. When comparing dissolved methane concentrations in the 48 water wells that were sampled both before and after drilling (from Phase 1), the research found no statistically significant increases in methane levels after drilling and no significant correlation to distance from drilling. However, the researchers suggest that more intensive research on the occurrence and sources of methane in water wells is needed.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>