An EPA staff report suggests methane from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, contaminated wells near Dimock, Pa., but the agency says the water's safe to drink.
|A natural gas fracking operation on leased farmland near Dimock, Pa. The EPA says water from most wells in the area is still safe to drink, but critics and an internal EPA report suggest that the drilling method is causing methane contamination. (Caroline Cole / Los Angeles Times / December 27, 2011)|
Yet as the regulator moved to close its investigation, the staff at the mid-Atlantic EPA office in Philadelphia, which had been sampling the Dimock water, argued for continuing the assessment.
In an internal EPA PowerPoint presentation obtained by the Tribune/Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau, staff members warned their superiors that several wells had been contaminated with methane and substances such as manganese and arsenic, most likely because of local natural gas production.