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Press Highlights: Rally and Press Conference for Clean Water in Dimock

January 13, 2012
Craig and Julie Sautner address supporters and the press in Philadelphia

Today’s early morning demonstration and press conference, held to greet EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and urge her to send clean water to gas drilling victims living in Dimock, PA, was a great success. Over 50 people from across the region gathered in front of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA and fought off wind and brisk temperatures in order to ensure their voices were heard. Below is a sampling of excerpts from today’s press coverage of this important event:

The Washington Post – Residents who Say Gas Drilling Contaminated Their Wells Don’t Get Quick Help from EPA – by Geoff Mulvihill (AP)

A handful of residents-turned-activists from Dimock joined about 50 environmental activists from neighboring communities and elsewhere to rally outside a conference at Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences on urban environmental issues, chanting, “Lisa Jackson, take some action!” Their hope was to find a kindred spirit in EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and to ask her directly to have fresh water delivered to them.

But they didn’t get the chance.

The moderator of the panel on which Jackson sat did not ask any of the Dimock-related questions that were submitted. And at the end of the session, Jackson did not respond when one activist shouted out a question. She also did not meet with any of the protesters who attempted to confront her afterward.

[…]

Craig Stevens, a resident of Silver Lake, near Dimock, said he called the EPA on Thursday and was told that Jackson would visit the town and would consider bringing water with her. Spokeswomen for the agency did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

In a move that was partly symbolic and partly a practical goodwill gesture, several of protesters brought with them bottles and jugs of water for the Dimock residents to take home.

“It’s a ridiculous redefinition of life to have to get bottles of water and to have to live by the graciousness of others,” said Victoria Switzer, a Dimock resident who sold gas drilling rights under the 5 acres she owns.

State Impact – EPA Chief Says Krancer’s Letter Won’t Help Dimock Residentsby Susan Phillips

Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency Admin­is­tra­tor Lisa Jack­son says she found it “puz­zling” that Pennsylvania’s top reg­u­la­tor would write a let­ter crit­i­cal of her Agency’s role in Dimock’s water prob­lems. Last week Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Sec­re­tary Michael Krancer wrote to Jack­son telling her the EPA’s knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion is “rudi­men­tary.” Krancer has expressed hos­til­ity toward the EPA’s actions sev­eral times since tak­ing over as DEP Sec­re­tary last year.

At a press con­fer­ence Fri­day at the Acad­emy of Nat­ural Sci­ences in Philadel­phia, Jack­son said fed­eral reg­u­la­tors need more data on Dimock’s water.

“That’s what I’m com­mit­ted to,” said Jack­son. “It’s puz­zling to me how writ­ing let­ters will help the peo­ple in Dimock.”

CBS 3 – Upstate Pa. Residents Affected by Fracking Protest at EPA Head’s Visit to Philadelphiaby Mike DeNardo

Residents of Dimock (Susquehanna County), Pa. who claim their groundwater has been contaminated by natural gas drilling had for several years gotten fresh water trucked in by the Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation — until two months ago, when the state said the Cabot no longer had to.

Dimock resident Craig Sautner (right) says the federal EPA then did a flip-flop.

“They called us up last Friday and promised us water.  They said, ‘We’re going to bring you guys water.  We’re going to go do it.’  Saturday morning, we get a call and they said they’re not going to do it,” Sautner said today.

[…]

[Lisa Jackson] said that EPA field staffers are doing more tests.

“I think there was a miscommuncation,” Jackson told KYW Newsradio.   “I’m not sure how it happened, but we’ve been really clear now that we are working to expedite their decision-making.   It is their decision to make, but they’re going to have to justify that decision.”

She added that the EPA can’t provide water without scientific and legal justification.

Philadelphia Inquirer – Video Interview – by Sandy Bauers

Dimock resident Victoria Switzer at Academy. She says she’s been without water for 3 years.

The Inquirer also published Bauers’ article, “Protesters Ask EPA to Deliver Clean Water to Pa. Town”.

5 Comments
  1. Nick permalink
    January 13, 2012 3:32 pm

    If the State released Cabot from the water supply obligation, why isn’t someone talking to the State?

  2. January 13, 2012 4:08 pm

    The federal government needs to take over for DEP, investigate DEP and Governor (yeah, right!) Corbett for criminal connections to the drilling industry. Fines will not help. These psychopathic fossil fuel industry CEOs regard fines as a cost of doing business. They are afraid of only one thing– losing their freedom. Toss them in prison, shut them down, and get with wind, solar and other clean, renewable, job-sustaining energy. Ever hear of a solar power spill? How ’bout a wind power spill? No? I didn’t think so.

    Nothing will ever or can ever replace the good well water that the folks in Dimock once enjoyed, but they need the best water possible, right now, and in sustainable quantities! Cut the red tape, and get them water!

  3. Nick permalink
    January 13, 2012 5:52 pm

    Mark, You must be responding to someone else. If the State taketh away, they can bring it back. If the water is still a problem, it sounds like they should?

  4. January 13, 2012 5:52 pm

    LINK TO LATEST WATER TESTS FROM DIMOCK PLAIN AS DAY TOXIC LEVELS FROM HYDROGEOLOGIST PAUL RUBIN.http://frackthemovie.com/HydroQuest%20-%20Dimock%20Press%20Statement%2012-06-11.pdf

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  1. EPA Will Deliver Clean Safe Water to Dimock! « Protecting Our Waters

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