Dimock Proud – Enough is Enough!
After 3 long years of fighting a water line 99% of the Dimock population do not want, and listening as their New York neighbors and natural gas obstructionists from across the world smeared their small community Dimock residents this week came out to tell the world “Enough is Enough.” Nearly 150 residents turned out to send Mayor Matt Ryan and his anti-gas, anti clean energy ideologues packing at a meeting in Dimock earlier this week. Buoyed by this act of hubris by the Mayor and his Hollywood elitist friends, members of the community then assembled Tuesday on Carter Road to explain that the water delivery engineered by the Hollywood houligans was nothing more than a stunt intended to affect political decisions in New York and elsewhere. They also made it clear they are “Dimock proud”, that their water is clean and the majority of the community has embarked on a petition drive to get DEP to lift its moratorium on natural gas development in that immediate area. The events of these two days were a sight to behold! The facts are simple and straightforward- Dimock’s water is clean and safe.
When reading media reports about the community, often from individuals who have never even been to Carter Road or Dimock, a dreary picture of a wasteland is often painted. Residents of Dimock however know the truth and they are not afraid to speak that truth when confronted by egotistical personalities who claim to be working out of the spirit of altruism. The truth as conveyed by Dimock residents this week, is that Dimock is a small town with a beautiful landscape. Residents there have long known that methane has been in water supplies there long before natural gas development came to the region.
The residents of Dimock have dealt with a lot for a long time. However, after three long years they are extremely upset that people are getting the wrong impression of their town because of a small group of neighbors constantly complaining and refusing any solutions that have been offered to them to fix their water supply. Ask the 99% in Dimock about the minority there and most will tell you their actions are upsetting, hurtful to the community and are selfish as the outcome they seek is only beneficial to themselves at the expense of the entire community of which they are a part.
The facts of the matter is the water in Dimock meets all EPA standards and several wells have been continually tested. You wouldn’t know it from the press, but families on Carter road are drinking their well water, some have filtration systems and most are pleased with the way both Cabot and the Department of Environmental Protection have handled the situation there.
Water tests from Carter Road indicate, for example, that barium is far below EPA standards and benzene and toluene are not even detected in the water despite video’s where the Sautner’s and others claim their well is contaminated with these elements. Well water typically includes some mineral contents that are natural in the aquifer from which the water is drawn. Water with the claimed “orange tint” is likely from the fourth most abundant mineral in the world, iron. Which has no connection to natural gas production. Further, aquifers can experience fluctuations in methane due to weather and other factors that can cause methane spikes.
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Tuesday, Josh Fox bussed in activists from New York City to speak at a rally to further a selfish agenda at the expense of 99% of Dimock residents. A agenda we might add the community is frankly tired of hearing.
Of course there are other actors in this ongoing drama. They too are not from Dimock. If we are lucky they may have visited once and never returned but still they consider themselves experts on the situation there. For an example look no further than Kate Sinding’s blog on NRDC’s Switchboard which further pushes this agenda and spreads misinformation about Dimock. Speaking of Kate, she went through such a hard time putting together this blog filled with bad information that we put together a point by point breakdown of some of her arguments.
Fiction: This leaves the affected families with no choice but to either pay – at extreme cost – for continued water deliveries, or to drink and bathe with the contaminated water in their wells.
Fact: Despite the DEP’s finding that Cabot has met all of the requirements of the Consent Order and no longer is required to deliver water to the litigants, Cabot has offered and will still re-connect these wells at no cost and/or put in place a treatment system. The same options that were given to all of the wells involved in the Consent Order still apply. Should these households continue to not want treatment, then they will have to pay the unnecessary cost of having water delivered. Other homes listed in the decree have the treatment systems Kate disparages but has never seen. They drink their water everyday and so have we which you can find here.
Fiction: For the record, this is water that contains an alphabet soup of dangerous contaminants, including lead, beryllium, iron, manganese, and non-naturally occurring chemicals associated with fracking such as bis (2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, bis (2- Ethylhexyl) phthalate, and ethylene glycol. (Cabot has offered to install a so-called “whole house methane treatment system,” but not only does that system not target many of the contaminants at issue, experts say it cannot be installed in homes – like many of those in Dimock – with high iron content in the water.)
Fact: Tests conducted at the litigants homes show that all levels of anything present meet minimum Safe Drinking Water Standards. Iron is a common contaminant that is more than likely the cause of the reddish-brown color of the jugs of water shown at rallies and protests. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, iron can be removed by digging a new well, chlorination, or installing a filtration or water softening system.
Fact: DEHA and DEHP (bis (2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, bis (2- Ethylhexyl) phthalate) are commonly used in PVC or plastics. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “DEHP is everywhere in the environment because of its use in plastics”. Furthermore, “There is no evidence that DEHP causes serious health effects in humans.”
Fact: Ethylene Glycerol has been found in one water test. According to the EPA it is commonly “used as antifreeze in cooling and heating systems [and] in hydraulic brake fluids.” The residence where this substance has been found, below the minimum drinking water standards, is located downstream from a vehicle junk yard with a known history of not following proper disposal protocols.
Fiction: Appalled by DEP’s and Cabot’s actions, on Friday Matt Ryan, mayor of Binghamton, NY (a city that is itself in the heart of Marcellus country and at risk if and when NY permits new fracking), offered to provide a tanker full of clean drinking water to the affected families. But following lobbying by members of a local group supported by Cabot, the township of Dimock refused to sign a mutual aid agreement that was necessary for Binghamton to defray the costs of the rented tanker.
Fact: Well, pardon us for being cynical but, with a “Withdrawal the SGEIS” sticker highly visible on his notebook Monday night and his very public views on natural gas development, Sindel’s analysis of Ryan’s reasons for assisting these families is questionable at best. Second, with a sewage treatment plant that is still uncontrollably leaking waste into the Susquehanna on a nearly daily basis, the cleanliness of said water being delivered is likely debatable. And, how about the color of that water Craig Stephens was delivering to his buddy Craig Sautner – would anyone shower in that? But we digress…the very real and indisputable point of fallacy in this statement comes in her description of the group “Enough Is Enough”. Indeed, for someone who works for an organization that claims to stick up for everyday American’s we find it interesting that Kate is so quick to disparage a homegrown community group, filled with honest local residents, who are sick and tired of seeing their community being disparaged by sycophants and their far off supporters.
Fact: This group is not pro-Cabot, although most are not against the company. They are not pro-industry, although most are satisfied with the positive economic changes occurring in their community. Their message–their agenda, if you will–is very clear. They are pro-Dimock. They did not form to fight against clean water or to support an industry driven message. They are comprised of the 99% of Dimock residents who did not want to be forced to hook up to a water line when they know their well water is clean. They are the 99% of Dimock residents who are proud to call Dimock their home and are tired of the smear campaign against their community. And they are the 99% of Dimock residents who refuse to let their township take on liability for a problem that doesn’t exist to further an out of state agenda.
As one such resident, Lindie Ellis, said Monday night: “They signed their leases without the assistance of the township.”
They are the 99% of Dimock residents who know that Dimock water is clean and drinkable. Sinding’s false portrayal of these residents is a gross distortion of the truth as a means to get the NRDC some publicity for their “charitable” undertaking of the litigants’ case.
Fact: Cabot stopped delivering water to litigants after they had received the results of the water tests. These results proved there was no need for Cabot to continue to bring in water, the homes were beyond ready to begin using their water wells again and they had met all requirements of the Consent Order. The families who haven’t yet accepted the water filtration system are still being offered one.
So, in the words of the Dimock residents, “Enough is Enough!” Let’s start listening to the 99%!