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Friday, June 24, 2011

Groundhog Day in PA: Chesapeake blames EPA


EPA Briefs Homeowners Living Near Blown Out Gas Well

By Jim Hamill
7:09 p.m. EDT, June 23, 2011

In April, a blowout at a natural gas well near Canton spilled thousands of gallons of drilling fluid into the ground and into a nearby creek. On Thursday, federal environmental officials visited some homeowners in Bradford County to share with them the results of their own tests on the water.

EPA officials sat down with Randy and Kay Morse at their home in LeRoy township and shared test results on their private water well.

Back in April, the Chesapeake gas well on the Morse's property blew, spilling thousands of gallons of flowback fluid into the ground and nearby creek.

The Morses tell Newswatch 16 the EPA's testing confirmed what they already knew: that high levels of sodium showed up in their well. The couple is still drinking bottled water as a precaution.

Just down the road, Chesapeake is installing a water filtration system at Ira Hare's home because his water well tests were much worse.

"They asked my wife if she was using it for cooking. She said yes. They said stop right away and they offered us a water buffalo," said Hare.

According to Hare, the new system will allow him to drink his well water again, and he's pleased with how Chesapeake has responded.

"Life goes on," said hare. "Still wish it hadn't happened. I would have been satisfied with my own well, but this happened."

Meanwhile, those federal environmental officials continued meeting with homeowners surrounding the well that Chesapeake officials say blew when a piece of equipment malfunctioned.

Another homeowner, who did not want to be identified, says the EPA told her they'll test her well and others in the area again early next month. Those results may not come back until August, so she plans to keep drinking bottled water and wait for more answers then.

Late Thursday afternoon, Chesapeake put out a statement saying: "While we appreciate that EPA is concerned with drinking water quality in Pennsylvania, we think it is unfortunate that they are creating confusion in the community by the way they are approaching an historic and well known problem."


Copyright WNEP

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