Actor Mark Ruffalo and film director Josh Fox denounced a controversial form of gas drilling this week at New York's City Hall, where they collected water to bring to 11 Pennsylvania families whose tap water is flammable, according to a report by ABC News.
Well water in Dimock, Pa., has been contaminated since 2008, when the Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. leased their land to use for gas drilling, according to the report.
When one resident's well exploded several months ago, the state investigated and found that faulty casings in a gas drilling well had caused methane to seep into local drinking wells, ABC reported.
In addition to methane, the water contains unsafe quantities of heavy metals, radioactive material and toxic chemicals such as ethylene glycol, also known as antifreeze, according to ABC. Dimock Township residents complained of health problems after drinking and bathing in the water, and so the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PDEP) has forced Cabot to deliver clean water to the affected families for the past three years. The PDEP also planned the construction of a water pipeline that would deliver clean water to the region.
But when Thomas Corbett was sworn in as governor in January 2011, things changed. The pipeline construction was stopped, and the PDEP approved a decision to have Cabot stop delivering clean water to the 11 families in Dimock, ABC reported.
Ruffalo told ABC, "All I can say is corrupt politics, corrupt politicians," Ruffalo said. "It's pretty fishy. The DEP was building a pipeline that Cabot was going to have to pay for to the tune of $12 million. For $1.6 million, Cabot bought off Corbett, and as soon as he came into office, he killed the pipeline..."
ABC News also has posted a televised new story about the controversy.
To read a Dec. 5 U.S. News/MSNBC report on the water controversy in Dimock, click here.
To read a National Resource Defense Council blog entry from Dec. 5 on the water controversy in Dimock, click here.
To read a Scranton, Pa. Times-Tribune article about the controversy, click here.