Cabot Oil & Gas disagrees with EPA’s decision to conduct an extensive investigation and to provide water to a select group of Dimock, Penn. landowners on the grounds there is no evidence the well water in question poses a threat to human health.
Cabot says EPA’s data points are out of context, not representative of the volumes of data collected, and in some cases, did not originate from these residences’ water wells at all. We desire to set the record straight on the relevance of the data and where it came from.
These distortions of fact are summarized below:
- The U.S. EPA disregarded more recent data that better demonstrates the current conditions of the water wells. Instead, they opted to utilize data from several years ago, including one from November 2008. Less than a handful of the data utilized was collected in 2011.
- NONE of the data points selected by the U.S. EPA show concentrations for substances (including arsenic, manganese, sodium, glycols and DEHP) in the residences’ well water that exceed the Primary Maximum Contaminant Levels set by the U.S. Government.
- The water sample cited by the U.S. EPA to represent the maximum concentration of arsenic in the Carter water well was NOT taken from the residence’s water well – it was from a sample of the Montrose area public water supply from Pennsylvania American Water. All other arsenic values for the Carter water well fall below the PMCL.
- Many of the data points selected are taken out of context:
- The sodium point for the Sautner well water was taken from a post-treatment water sample after having gone through a water softener, which reduces water hardness by replacing calcium and magnesium with sodium and thereby raising the overall sodium concentration. A review of the data shows, as expected, that all of the pre-treatment water samples have sodium concentrations 3-4 times lower than the post-treatment water.
- The manganese point for the Sautner well water is nearly three years old and was only one of two samples to be above the Secondary Contaminant Level. The other 43 water samples collected were below this level. Realize there is not PMCL for manganese, only a SMCL.
- The sodium point for the Nolan Ely water well was collected 18 months ago and is inconsistent with data collected since September 2010.
- The Montrose area public water supplied by Pennsylvania American water (which the EPA is currently providing to these residences) contains sodium concentrations well above what the majority of the landowners have in their own water wells.
- There is neither a Primary Maximum Contaminant Level nor a Secondary Contaminant Level established for sodium.
- The manganese levels in the four water wells fall within the levels of naturally occurring manganese observed throughout the Susquehanna County area.
- The glycol levels are well below the ATSDR advisory level referenced by the U.S. EPA.