Hanger announces public water for Dimock
The Times Leader
MATT HUGHES firstname.lastname@example.org
DIMOCK – Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger announced today the extension of a public water supply from Pennsylvania American Water's Lake Montrose treatement plant to 18 residents of Dimock.
For two years, drinking water for 33 Dimock residents has been supplied by Cabot Oil & Gas, the natural gas drilling company that DEP says contaminated the water wells of some Dimock residents with methane and natural gas.
More than 100 reporters, photographers, filmakers, spokespersons and residents of the sleepy Susquehanna County community packed the tiny Dimock Baptist Church to hear the announcement.
Hanger said DEP will fully fund the project, now slated to cost $11.8 million, though the department still insists that Cabot foot the bill. Hanger said DEP will pursue litigation against Cabot if necessary to recoup the cost of the project, but that the department did not want to wait any longer to provide a permanent source of clean drinking water to Dimock residents.
“We have had people here in Pennsylvania without safe drinking water for nearly two years,” Hanger said. “That is totally unacceptable. It is reprehensible. We have given Cabot every opportunity to resolve this matter. […] We're not going to wait to go through long legal proceedings with Cabot to get this started.”
A new 12-inch transmission main will transport water approximately 5.5 miles from the Pennsylvania American Water's Lake Montrose plant south along State Route 29 into Dimock. Approximately seven miles of 6-inch distribution mains will connect the main to the homes of 18 families initially. Other Dimock residents seeking connection to the water supply may also contact Pennsylvania American Water about gaining access to the public water supply, water company President Kathy Pape said.
Pape said the project, which will also involve the installation of pressure regulating systems, hydrants and water treatement systems, will take 18 months to complete once ground has been broken. The company is also waiting on a state grant to come through before that happens, however, and Pape said work on the project will most likely not begin for a few months.